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What to Expect from a FEMA Inspection

Release date: 
June 12, 2015
Release Number: 

After you register for assistance, an inspector from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will call you for an appointment to inspect your damaged property.

Q. Why is the inspector there?
A. Verifying disaster damage is part of the process to establish the amount and type of damage you suffered.  The inspectors have construction backgrounds and are fully qualified to do the job.

Q. How do I know the Inspector is from FEMA?
A. You should ask to see the inspector's identification.  All FEMA housing inspectors will have a FEMA badge displayed. Also, each disaster survivor is provided a unique FEMA registration number when they register for assistance.  The inspector will know your FEMA registration number.

If you have concerns with the legitimacy of a FEMA housing inspector, you should contact your local law enforcement as they will be able to validate their identification. 

Q. What does the inspector look for?
A. The inspector determines whether the house is livable by checking the structure, including heating, plumbing, electrical, flooring, wallboard, and foundation.

Q. How about personal property?
A. Damage to major appliances - washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove - is assessed. Other serious needs such as clothing lost or damaged in the disaster are surveyed.

Q. Do I need to have any paperwork on hand?
A. Some evidence that the property is your primary residence or evidence that you own the property will be required.  It might be a recent utility bill, mortgage payment record, or rent receipts.

Q. Will I find out the results of the inspection?
A. If you are eligible for assistance, you will receive a check in the mail.  You will be notified by letter if you are not eligible.  You have 60 days to appeal the decision, and the appeal process is outlined in the letter.

Q. What other inspections should I expect?
A. Depending on the types of assistance for which you may be eligible, your losses may be verified by FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and your local building inspector's office.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:05