Virgin Islands Hurricane Irma
Incident Period: Sep 5, 2017 - Sep 7, 2017
Declaration Date: Sep 7, 2017
More About This Disaster
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How To Appeal A FEMA Decision
Applicants have a right to appeal any FEMA decision.
Some survivors who registered for federal disaster assistance may have received a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that says they are ineligible. The reason for the decision may be something that can be easily fixed, such as providing insurance documents or new contact information.
When survivors apply for individual disaster assistance through FEMA, their needs are assessed based on a number of factors, including eligibility requirements laid out under federal law. Sometimes people do not qualify for financial help right away. Some of the reasons for an initial turn down can be:
- You might not have gotten your insurance settlement;
- You may not have provided FEMA all the necessary;
- You haven’t provided proof of ownership or residence;
- You may not have returned the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application;
- You may not have provided records that showed the damaged property was the primary residence at the time of the disaster;
- You may not have signed essential documents.
Read your letter carefully. FEMA may only need you to provide additional information. Your appeal should include new or missing information, documents and damage repair estimates that support the appeal request. If it isn’t clear, or more information is needed, a specialist at the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711, video relay service) can help. TTY users can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.
All appeals must be made in the form of a signed letter within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. It is important to date the appeal letter and mail it to the following address:
FEMA National Processing Service Center
P. O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
Appeals may also be faxed to: 1-800-827-8112, Attention: FEMA. You can also call the helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center, where you can talk with someone about your particular case.
Everyone should read their letters carefully, ask questions, ask for help, and tell us if you think we got it wrong. We are here to serve you – the disaster survivor – and it is your right to ask us to reconsider our decision.
Tips For Clean-Up & Safety Tips
- Avoid debris, downed power lines, and flood water, which may be electrically charged and hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
- Do not move or cut downed power or utility lines.
- You can help emergency workers by staying off the roads and out of the way as much as possible.
- Drive with care, especially at night.
If your power is out, safely use a generator or battery-operated flashlights.
- Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
- Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions.
- Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home's electrical system – they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
Before cleaning, survivors should:
- Take photos of damage before you begin the clean-up process. Be sure to include photos or videos of the outside and inside of the building, including damaged personal property, and label them by room before you remove anything. If you have insurance, be sure to photograph the make, model and serial number for appliances such as washers, dryers, hot water heaters, kitchen appliances, TVs and computers.
- Save all repair receipts.
- If you have insurance, separate damaged items from undamaged items. The insurance adjuster will need to document damaged items when conducting an inspection. If possible, keep samples of carpet, flooring, wallpaper, drapes, etc.
- Throw away flood-damaged items that pose a health risk. After taking photos, immediately throw away flood-damaged items that pose a health risk after coming into contact with flood waters, such as perishable food, clothing, cushions, mattresses and pillows.
When salvaging and cleaning up hurricane damaged property:
- Always wear protective clothing. This includes long-sleeved shirts, long pants, rubber or plastic gloves and waterproof boots or shoes.
- Take wet items outside. Your home could be contaminated with mold, which may raise the health risk for those with asthma, allergies and breathing conditions. For detailed tips on cleaning mold safely, visit the Center for Disease Control’s site at https://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm.
- Clean all hard surfaces and items with bleach. If possible, wash wet fabrics in hot water.
- Be aware of damaged power lines, gas lines and other structural damage. Inside and outside of building, watch for sharp objects such as protruding nails and screws, aluminum, and broken glass.
- Turn off main electrical power and water systems. Don’t use gas appliances until a professional can inspect them.
- Check all ceilings and floors for signs of sagging or other potentially dangerous structural damage. Remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with flood waters.
- Throw out any items that cannot be cleaned. This includes items like mattresses, carpeting, stuffed animals that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected.
- If you have insurance, contact your insurance agent to report your damage from the hurricane and file a claim as soon as possible. Your insurance agent can walk you through your options. Make sure to photograph the damage for documentation purposes.
Tips for salvaging water-damaged family valuables and heirlooms:
- Cherished items and heirlooms such as photographs, letters, and other irreplaceable objects may be damaged in floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes. It is often possible to salvage them with a little patience, prompt action, and these tips from the Heritage Emergency National Task Force: Salvaging Family Valuables Fact Sheet
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|Total Housing Assistance (HA) - Dollars Approved
|Total Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - Dollars Approved
|Total Individual & Households Program Dollars Approved
|Individual Assistance Applications Approved
|Emergency Work (Categories A-B) - Dollars Obligated
|Permanent Work (Categories C-G) - Dollars Obligated
|Total Public Assistance Grants Dollars Obligated
|Hazard Mitigation Assistance
|Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) - Dollars Obligated