CONCORD, N.H. – As residents recover from the flooding and devastation in New Hampshire caused by Tropical Storm Irene, many will be visited by a housing inspector working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Inspectors will contact residents who have registered with FEMA for Individual Assistance to make an appointment to inspect the damaged property.
"It's important that people provide us with a telephone number where they can be reached easily so that our inspectors can make those appointments," said Albie Lewis, federal coordinating officer. "If the number changes, they need to call back to our helpline and update their information."
Inspectors will make three attempts, on separate days, to contact the registrant before withdrawing the inspection. If residents haven't received a call from an inspector within two weeks of registering, they should call the same number, 1-800-621-3362 to reach the helpline to check on their case.
Inspectors are thoroughly trained and follow a computerized questionnaire to assure that inspections are consistent. A random sample of the homes will be re-inspected by supervisors as a quality-control measure.
Inspectors carry identification cards and will readily verify their credentials. They will expect applicants to be able to verify their identity and to provide proof of ownership of the property, such as a real estate deed or property tax receipt.
Residents will be asked if their property is insured. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance coverage. But registered applicants have up to a year to seek a FEMA grant if insurance does not cover all of their loss.
Loss estimates the inspectors make are based on current costs in the area they are inspecting and the observed extent of damage.
Register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362. Dial the same number to reach the FEMA Helpline. If you use a TTY, call 1-800-462-7585 directly. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362 or online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and 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.