ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- Inspectors contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have begun contacting North Carolina residents who have applied for federal disaster assistance for damage caused by severe storms and flooding associated with Tropical Storm Nicole.
"These inspectors are setting up appointments to meet residents at flood-damaged properties, so it is important you give FEMA a current telephone number," State Coordinating Officer Doug Hoell said. "We know many residents have been living in temporary locations and it's crucial that they have a way to contact you."
Once inspectors arrive, they will have approved FEMA badges that include the inspector's name and photo, and the name of the company under contract with FEMA. They will ask for identification to verify your name and address and registration with FEMA.
Inspectors will NOT ask for a Social Security number nor ask to be paid for the inspection. The FEMA inspection is free, so beware of fraudulent individuals attempting to charge for an inspection.
"The inspector does not determine whether someone is eligible for assistance, or the amount of a FEMA grant the individual may receive," said Federal Coordinating Officer W. Montague Winfield.
The inspection may take about 30 minutes, during which the inspector will assess disaster-related damage for both real and personal property and may take photos of the interior and exterior of the damaged dwelling. The inspector enters damage-related information into a hand-held computer and sends that data to FEMA.
Since Oct. 14 when President Obama declared the disaster authorizing assistance in North Carolina, more than 1,800 households have registered for disaster assistance. Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Craven, Hertford, Jones, Onslow, Pender, Pitt and Tyrrell are the counties included in the disaster declaration.
To register for assistance, residents should call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. Online registration is available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
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.