FEMA Inspectors Are In The Field ? What To Expect

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Release date: 
March 12, 2012
Release Number: 
4057-007

ATLANTA – Inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are currently contacting disaster applicants in Kentucky counties whose primary home sustained damage from the recent devastating tornadoes and storms.

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 wear official FEMA identification badges. Authorized inspectors will only confirm personal detailed information that has been provided previously during the registration process. They will usually not approach an applicant without prior contact.

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 or by calling 800-621-3362 (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 or estimate or determine the value of damage or losses. The inspection typically takes 15 to 45 minutes.

You – or someone who is 18 or older and lived in the household prior to 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.

Property owners who need to replace a document to prove property ownership should visit their local tax office Property Valuation Administrator. Proof of ownership may avoid long delays in receiving eligible FEMA funds.

After the Inspector’s Visit: You will receive a joint letter from FEMA and the commonwealth containing a decision within 10 days of the inspector’s visit. You may receive a low-interest disaster loan application in the packet from the U.S. Small Business Administration. You do not have to accept a loan. However, completing an SBA application opens the door to other possible forms of assistance.

If you have any questions about what you receive, you can call the helpline number – 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585)....

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