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What Happens After You Register With FEMA

Release date: 
May 14, 2019
Release Number: 
R7-DR-4421 IA NR 027

DES MOINES, Iowa – Many residents of Louisa and Scott counties who sustained damage during the recent flooding realize that state and federal disaster assistance is only a phone call away. Many of those individuals, however, are unaware of what happens after they register with FEMA.

FEMA registration is quick and easy. There are multiple ways to register:

  • Go online to www.disasterassistance.gov/.
  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. The Helpline hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.
  • Use a smartphone to download the FEMA app at www.fema.gov/mobile-app and then follow the instructions to register.

Applicants with disaster losses who call the toll-free line are assigned a registration identification number for future reference in identifying their case. In most cases, a FEMA-contracted inspector will call the applicant to make an appointment to visit the damaged property and assess the loss.

The following are points to remember during inspections:

  • Do not rely on clothing insignias alone for identification. All inspectors wear and should display a current photo identification badge. It’s OK to ask to see this ID.
  • Applicants will be asked for some proof of occupancy and owners must show proof of ownership.
  • Inspectors do not determine any dollar amounts. They only inspect, and document reported damage.
  • Inspectors do not carry money, nor do they ask for money.

After registering for disaster assistance, you may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In times of disasters, the SBA offers low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters. There’s no obligation to accept a loan, but you may miss out on the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds if you don’t apply.
Information about how to apply for low-interest SBA loans for businesses and residents is available online at SBA.gov/disaster. You may also call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.


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 faced discrimination or needs help with accessible communication, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.

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HSEMD Mission: To lead, coordinate and support homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.

Individuals who are deaf or low-hearing may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA at www.SBA.gov/disaster .

Last Updated: 
May 15, 2019 - 11:32