What to Expect After You Apply for FEMA Assistance

Release Date:
January 21, 2023

If you live in Butts, Henry, Jasper, Meriwether, Newton, Spalding or Troup counties and were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes that occurred on Jan. 12, 2023, FEMA may be able to help with temporary housing expenses, basic home repairs or other essential disaster-related needs that are not covered by insurance.

There are several ways to apply: Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA app for smartphones or call 800-621-3362. The helpline is open, and help is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time in most languages. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.

FEMA will ask for:

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted.
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • A general list of damage and losses.
  • Banking information if you choose direct deposit.
  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name.

If you have homeowners, renters or flood insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If your policy does not cover all your damage expenses, you may be eligible for federal assistance.

Home Inspections

If you report that you cannot, or may not be able to, safely live in your home, FEMA may need to perform an inspection of the damaged dwelling. The inspection may be conducted at the site of the damaged dwelling in person by a FEMA housing inspector or by alternative methods. For those in-person, the inspector will observe CDC-recommended protocols including wearing a mask and physical distancing. Alternative methods to validate interior damage may include:

  • Asking questions
  • Looking for evidence in the surrounding area
  • Looking in windows
  • Viewing applicant photos or video
  • Conducting a video call with the applicant

FEMA will contact you to let you know how the inspection will take place.

Survivors with minimal damage who can live in their homes will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection. However, they may request an inspection if they later find significant disaster-caused damage.

For an accessible video on FEMA home inspections, go to youtube.com/watch?v=kXMaDkY3Q2o.

For information on Georgia’s disaster recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster 4685. Follow FEMA on Twitter at FEMA Region 4 (@femaregion4) / Twitter and at facebook.com/fema.

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Last updated January 21, 2023