During times of crisis, there are often broken lines of communication and false information being shared. Although the circulation of incorrect information is not always intended, some may use the opportunity to take advantage of others’ vulnerability. Below are some trending topics with answers as to what is true and what is not:
Can I get money at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC)?
Disaster Recovery Centers do not manage, deliver, or provide funds/grants. A DRC is a place where the Government of Puerto Rico, FEMA and other agencies are available to answer questions and provide resources and information. Disaster survivors can also register and obtain information and assistance about available disaster recovery resources.
Can I register for FEMA aid more than once? / Does registering multiple times make the process faster?
No. You only need to register once for federal disaster assistance. Registering for disaster assistance more than once will slow down any aid you may receive.
Is USACE charging for roof installations?
No. Operation Blue Roof is a federally funded service to homeowners, performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). There is no cost to the homeowner. If you are being asked to pay for this service, it is a SCAM. All USACE representatives will produce official identification. Follow these steps if you suspect any fraudulent activity:
- Do not respond to texts, phone calls or personal requests seeking your personal information. The only time you should provide personal information is during the initial application process for and federal help or when you initiate contact with federal officials to follow up on an application.
- Ask for identification and don’t be afraid to hang up on cold callers.
- Contact government agencies using information posted on their websites or on other official sources.
- Don’t sign contracts with blank spaces or anything you don’t understand.
- If you suspect fraud, contact the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service; TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters, which can cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
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