COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are contacting applicants in disaster-designated counties whose primary home sustained damage from the recent flooding in Missouri.
Designated counties include Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Holt, Lafayette and Platte.
Federal assistance to individuals and households may include grants to help pay for rental housing, essential home repairs and other disaster-related expenses.
Inspectors are private contractors who carry official FEMA identification. Authorized inspectors will only confirm personal detailed information that has been provided previously during the registration process.
The U.S. Small Business Administration and various insurance companies also have inspectors in the field.
Here is what to expect:
Inspector's call: After you register -- either online at www.disasterassistance.gov, on a smartphone at m.fema.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 800-462-7585) -- a nine-digit application number is assigned. An inspector will call to schedule an appointment to visit your damaged property -- generally no longer than 10 days after registration.
Inspector's visit: Keep the scheduled appointment to make sure the assistance process moves quickly. Inspectors will review both structural and personal property damage and file a report, but they do not determine eligibility. The inspection typically takes 15 to 45 minutes.
You -- or someone who is 18 or older and lived in the household at the time of the disaster -- must be present for the scheduled appointment. The inspector will ask for identification and proof of ownership and occupancy (for homeowners) and occupancy only (for renters). You 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 any one of the following:
- A lease, rent payment receipt, utility bill or other document confirming the home was the primary residence at the time of the disaster.
- An employee pay stub and similar documents addressed to the applicant and showing the address of the damaged home;
- Proof of ownership, which may include any one of the following:
- Deed showing applicant as the legal owner;
- 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;
- 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.
After the inspector's visit, you will receive a letter from FEMA with a decision on your application for assistance within 10 days of the inspector's visit. If you have any questions about the letter, call the helpline number -- 800-621- FEMA (3362) (TTY 800-462-7585). If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. Multilanguage assistance is available. Telephone registration is available daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., until further notice.
If you are eligible for assistance, the letter will be followed by a check or an electronic funds transfer. The letter explains how the money can be used.
You may receive a low-interest disaster loan application in the mail from the U.S. Small Business Administration. You do not have to accept a loan. However, completing an SBA application is required to be considered for other possible forms of assistance from FEMA. Individuals who do not qualify for an SBA loan may be considered for other forms of FEMA assistance.