What Happens After You Call FEMA

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Release date: 
September 29, 2009
Release Number: 

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Inspectors contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are contacting Georgia disaster applicants who sustained damage from storms and flooding beginning Sept. 18.

These inspectors will have approved FEMA identification that includes their name and photo and the name of their company under contract with FEMA.

They will ask for information to verify your name and address and registration with FEMA.  They will NOT ask for a Social Security number nor ask to be paid for the inspection.

Inspectors assess disaster-related damage for both real and personal property and may take photos of the interior and exterior of the damaged dwelling. Inspectors file damage reports, but they do not determine eligibility.

Here is what to expect:

Inspector's Call for Appointment. After an applicant with a housing or personal property need registers with FEMA - either online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) - a nine-digit registration number is assigned. An inspector will then call to schedule an appointment to visit the damaged property, generally within 7-10 days of registration.

Inspector's Visit.  Keep the scheduled appointment to make sure the assistance process continues quickly. The inspector will verify request a photo ID and verify the applicant's name, address and FEMA registration number.  The inspector will not ask for a Social Security number. There is no fee for the inspection.

The applicant - or someone who is 18 or older and lived in the household prior to the disaster - must be present for the scheduled appointment. Regarding real property, the inspector will ask for identification and proof of ownership and occupancy (for homeowners) and occupancy only (for renters). Flood survivors can speed up the process by having the appropriate documents on hand:

  • A photo ID to prove identity, such as driver's license or passport
  • Proof of occupancy, which may include 
    • A utility bill from with the address of the damaged home and the applicant's name listed or a merchant's statement, credit card bills, delivery notices or other first class mail addressed to the applicant and showing the address of the damaged home;
    • Employer's pay stubs and similar documents addressed to the applicant and showing the address of the damaged home;
    • Current driver's license or Georgia State ID showing the address of the damaged home.
  • Proof of ownership, such as: 

    • Deed showing applicant as the legal owner; or
    • Title that lists applicant on actual escrow or title document for the purchase of the home;
    • Mortgage payment book that names the applicant along with the address of the damaged home;
    • Real property insurance policy for the damaged home with applicant's name listed as the insured;
    • Tax receipts or a property tax bill that lists the address of the damaged home and the applicant as the responsible party to the assessments.
    • Insurance documents.

After the Inspector's Visit: The applicant receives a letter from FEMA containing a decision within 14 days of the inspector's visit.

If the applicant is eligible for assistance, a letter is sent to the mailing address and a check or an electronic funds transfer may be issued.  The letter explains what the money can be used for.

If the applicant is not eligible for assistance the letter will give the reason(s) for denial. Applicants will be informed of their right to appeal, and information on the appeal process.

If applicants are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), they will receive an SBA low-interest loan application in the ma...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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