FEMA Asks Survivors To Call When the Water is Gone

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Release date: 
July 19, 2011
Release Number: 
1981-026

BISMARCK, N.D. — When flood waters finally go down, people are eager to start cleaning up and getting things back to normal. People who have applied for assistance with FEMA want to have their homes inspected right away to find out what assistance they may be able to receive.

But inspectors can only do a full report when there is no standing water left in the home. So applicants are advised to wait to make an appointment until the inspector can complete the job in one call.

Applicants will not lose benefits by waiting until the water has gone. Pumping out and mucking out efforts will be evident to the inspectors. Here are some things that can be done in the meantime:

  • Take photos of damage
  • Keep receipts in case they are needed in the future
  • Clean and sanitize as much as possible

The inspector will need to see 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 damaged property must have been the survivor’s 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 consists of inspecting and measuring damaged areas of the home and reviewing records. The inspector enters information into an electronic device that sends the information to FEMA. The inspector does not determine eligibility for assistance or what the assistance may be. There is never a fee for a FEMA inspection.

For any questions about an application, call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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