RALEIGH, N.C. – Inspectors from FEMA have begun meeting with disaster applicants in Guilford and Rockingham counties who suffered damage or losses from the April 15 tornado and severe storms.
Officials from the North Carolina Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stressed that registering with FEMA is the first step toward applying for assistance.
“The whole process starts with registering, either at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362),” said Federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner, who is in charge of FEMA’s operations in North Carolina.
Generally, within 10 days of registering for FEMA assistance, an inspector will call you to schedule an appointment to visit your damaged property. This property must be your primary residence.
“You do not have to be a property owner to register,” said Mike Sprayberry, state emergency management director. “Renters are also eligible for assistance.”
Here is what you should expect if your storm-damaged home is inspected:
- Be prepared to coordinate a time for an appointment. Typically, inspections take 15 to 45 minutes.
- When the inspector arrives, look for official FEMA identification. The badge should include an identification number and a photo of the inspector. If a badge is not readily visible, ask the inspector to see it. If you are not shown photo identification, then do not allow the inspection.
- Authorized inspectors will only confirm personal information that has been provided previously during the registration process. FEMA inspectors will never ask for money, for bank account information, or for a Social Security number. If someone tells you he or she is a FEMA inspector and asks you these questions, notify your local law enforcement agency.
- An adult 18 or older who lived in the residence before the disaster must be present for the inspection.
- That person must have the following documents:
- Photo identification;
- Proof of ownership and occupancy of the damaged residence such as: property tax bill; mortgage payment bill or receipt, or utility service bill;
- Homeowner and vehicle insurance documents;
- List of persons living in residence at time of disaster that you compiled; and
- List of disaster damage to the home and its contents that you compiled.
- You may receive visits from more than one inspector. Other inspectors may represent federal, state, and local government agencies, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the National Flood Insurance Program and/or insurance companies.
You must register for assistance before an inspector can schedule a visit by calling the telephone registration line at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). Another option for individuals, including those who use 711 or VRS, is to call 800-621-FEMA (3362) while those who use TTY can call 800-462-7585. The toll free numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice.
By registering for federal assistance on www.DisasterAssistance.gov:
- You can look up your address to find out if it is in a disaster area declared for Individual Assistance.
- Check the status of your application and get updates by SMS or email.
- Upload documents to support your application.
North Carolina Emergency Management works to enhance the state’s resiliency by actively collaborating, communication and coordinating to prevent, mitigate, respond and recover from disasters.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.
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-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.