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What Happens After You Register With FEMA

Release date: 
July 24, 2019
Release Number: 
R7-DR-4421 IA NR 061

DES MOINES, Iowa – Residents of Muscatine County who sustained damage during the March 12–June 15 severe storms and flooding may not know what happens after they register for disaster assistance with FEMA.

Applicants with disaster losses are assigned a registration identification number for future reference in identifying their case. In most cases, a FEMA-contracted inspector will call 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 the amount of possible disaster assistance. They only inspect and document reported damage.
•    Inspectors do not carry money and there is no charge for the inspection.

Survivors are encouraged by recovery officials to “stay in touch” with FEMA after they have applied for assistance.

By staying in touch, they may avoid delays in getting the appropriate assistance or in scheduling a home inspection. Make sure to provide FEMA with any updated information such as:

  • A change in the primary phone number.
  • A new secondary phone number (such as a new cell phone).
  • A change in address (even if temporarily).
  • A change in the makeup of the household.

FEMA has provided two ways to update your information:

  • Visit the FEMA website at to upload documents.
  • Call the toll-free FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

When updating status information, refer to the nine-digit registration number. This is on all correspondence from FEMA and is a key identifier in tracking assistance requests.

For more information on the Iowa disaster and a variety of recovery resources, log on to: or call 2-1-1. Additional information can be found at

The Iowa Department of Human Rights can provide information on resources for people with disabilities. Call 515-242-5655 or go online at

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, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362, voice/VP/711. Multilingual operators are available. TTY users may call 800-462-7585.


FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 24, 2019 - 14:51