FEMA Home Inspectors Help Start Arkansas Recovery from Spring’s Severe Storms

FEMA Home Inspectors Help Start Arkansas Recovery from Spring’s Severe Storms

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – July 10, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Residents and business owners who have registered for disaster assistance with FEMA should expect a housing inspector to verify damage soon after they’ve applied.

Identifying damage helps determine both the amount and the types of assistance FEMA or other state and federal agencies may provide. There is no fee for the inspection. The inspector does not determine the amount of assistance an applicant will receive.

The inspector is required to carry identification that includes his or her photo and ID number. When the inspector comes to your home, ask to see the identification.

Residents of Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian, and Sevier

counties may be eligible for assistance following the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of May 7 to June 15, 2015.

Being ready when the inspector visits can help speed assistance.

If you’ve registered with FEMA for disaster assistance, here’s what to expect: A FEMA inspector will contact you to schedule an appointment to inspect your damaged home. If you have a disability and require an accommodation when the inspector arrives, please call 870-451-9241 during regular business hours.

Provide the inspector with clear, accurate directions to the damaged property. Post office boxes do not show locations.

Be prepared to provide written proof of ownership or rental occupancy, such as a tax receipt, deed, mortgage payment book, rental agreement, or home insurance policy with the damaged property’s address. Having the necessary documentation will help speed up the inspection process.

The inspector will not ask you for your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card account numbers or for medical information. If someone claiming to be with FEMA asks you to provide such information, call your local law enforcement immediately.

Whether you are an owner or a renter, you must show that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster. Inspectors will accept a valid driver’s license or current utility bill (such as an electric, gas or water bill) as proof you live there.

The inspection is free. It usually takes between 45 minutes and an hour, and consists of measuring the real property, inspecting its contents, and recording the findings.

Using a handheld electronic device, the inspector creates a digital “model” of the damaged home and uses it to indicate where damage occurred. The device — called an inspector’s pad —transmits information electronically to FEMA. This speeds up the process of providing assistance.

The inspector will ask to see damage to both real property and personal property in all areas of your home. This is to inventory both the type and extent of loss. For example, not all disaster damage results in a complete loss. The inspector’s report will show which items are total losses; which items can be repaired; and those that are not affected. FEMA will not replace damaged items that can be repaired with new items.

Typically, in 10 days or less after the inspector’s visit, you will receive a letter from FEMA containing a decision.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

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.

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