What to expect when the inspector comes to your damaged property

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Release date: 
August 19, 2010
Release Number: 
1930-008

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- If you have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) because your home was damaged by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, that have occurred since June 1, the next step in the process is to have your home inspected, according to state and federal disaster officials.

Here’s what to expect:  A FEMA inspector will contact you at the number you provided FEMA when you registered, to schedule an appointment to inspect your damaged home. Provide the inspector with clear, accurate directions to the damaged property, and a street address if not already provided to FEMA’s registration people. Post office boxes do not show locations.

Damage inspection is part of the recovery process. All FEMA contract inspectors are required to carry FEMA photo identification. When the inspector comes to your home, ask to see the identification. 

Be prepared to provide written proof of ownership, such as a tax receipt, deed, mortgage payment book, or home insurance policy showing the damaged property’s address. Having the necessary documentation will help speed up the inspection process. The inspector SHOULD NOT and WILL NOT ask you for bank account information. If someone claiming to be with FEMA asks you to provide such information, call your local law enforcement immediately.

Whether you are an owner or a renter, you must show that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster. Inspectors will accept a valid driver’s license or current utility bill (such as an electric, gas or water bill) as proof of occupancy.

The inspection is free. It usually takes about 30 minutes, and consists of inspecting and measuring damaged areas of your home and review of your records. The inspector enters information into an electronic device that sends the information to FEMA. This speeds up the process of providing assistance to you. The inspector does not determine whether you are eligible for assistance, and should not tell you what you may or may not receive.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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