Insurance, Disaster Assistance and Repairing Your Home

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Release date: 
September 22, 2011
Release Number: 
1971-167

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Alabama Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency urge disaster survivors who have received federal assistance for home repairs to begin that process and to use their money wisely.

“Making the necessary repairs to your home is a significant step in the recovery process,” said Jeff Byard, state coordinating officer for the AEMA.

The goal of repairing a home with federal recovery funds after the April storms and tornadoes is to make it safe, sanitary and functional. Before beginning any repairs, check with the local building department to find out what local permits or inspections are required. To find a reputable contractor check with the Better Business Bureau at www.BBB.org/Find-Business-Reviews.

If your home was insured and the insurance settlement is insufficient to meet all of the disaster-related needs, you should write a letter to FEMA explaining the circumstances. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance benefits, but you may be eligible to receive federal assistance. Include insurance documentation with the letter and mail it to:

FEMA
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

If your insurance settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days from the time you filed the claim, you should also write a letter to FEMA explaining the situation. When sending a letter to FEMA regarding your insurance situation, make sure to send applicable documentation from the insurance agency.

“Survivors should stay in touch with FEMA and turn in any insurance documentation to ensure they have received the funding they are eligible for,” said Joe M. Girot, federal coordinating officer for FEMA.

People with questions about disaster assistance funds should call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Phone lines are available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. Or visit 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.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

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