INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Every Indiana resident who contacts the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to apply for disaster assistance will receive an important follow-up call.? That call will come from a FEMA inspector to arrange a visit to verify the applicant's property damage and losses.?
Damage inspections are an important part of the disaster assistance process, say officials with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) and FEMA.
"We welcome FEMA's assistance in the aftermath of the devastation Hoosiers experienced in last month's storms," said IDHS Executive Director Joe Wainscott, Jr., state coordinator for disaster assistance programs. "We urge residents with property damage to apply with FEMA and then be ready to meet with an inspector."
In preparation for a FEMA inspector's visit, applicants are encouraged to have documents such as mortgage payment receipts, utility receipts or a lease available to prove that they own or occupy the damaged property.? Insurance documents may also be helpful.
The inspector will check the building structure and its systems, major appliances and any damaged septic systems and wells.? Residents should tell the inspector about other important losses such as clothing, medical equipment, tools needed for a trade, and educational materials.
"FEMA's inspection process is designed to protect individuals' privacy and security," said Steve DeBlasio, head of the FEMA disaster recovery effort. ?"Our inspectors arrange appointments by phone before visiting.? They do not charge for their services.? They carry FEMA identification and can state your FEMA case number for further verification," he explained.? The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the American Red Cross, and local building officials may also need to perform inspections and will have proper identification.
Indiana counties receiving FEMA disaster assistance include Harrison, Jefferson, Jennings, Lake, LaPorte and Porter. Renters, home and business owners in these counties who suffered property damage or loss should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-4462-7585 to apply for disaster assistance. People can also apply online at www.fema.gov.? FEMA phone lines and the website are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.