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How to Submit FOIA Requests

Follow these five steps to request FOIA or Privacy record by physical mail. You can also request records online.

Request a Record by Mail

Step 1:  Determine the Record You Are Requesting

Determine the exact record you seek.  These could be documents, memos, emails, voice messages, or video.

Step 2:  Check Public Domain

Check available resources such as the internet or libraries to determine whether the record already exists in the public domain.

Step 3: Determine Which Part of FEMA has the Record

Narrow down as best as possible the location (office or component) in which you think the record might exist, do this by searching FEMA.gov.  Here are some ideas to start your search:

Step 4: Complete Information

Send us a letter with the information below:

  1. Your Name
  2. Address or email address
  3. Phone number
  4. Brief description of records you are interested in receiving
  5. Determine the fee
  6. Indicate if your request qualifies for the expeditated treatment
    • You may have your signature on your request letter witnessed by a notary or
    • include the following statement immediately above the signature on your request letter:  "I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date]."  
      If you request information about yourself and do not follow one of these procedures, your request cannot be processed.
  7. Provide a third-party release statement if seeking personal records on another person.

Step 5: Send the FOIA

Submit a form online. You may also mail, email, or fax your FOIA to your identified component. 

Last updated Jun 17, 2020

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