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FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

02/08/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/08/2019 11:53

Applicants for State and FEMA Disaster Assistance, Expect Another Inspection

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -Alaska residents who apply for federal disaster assistance for the Nov. 30 earthquake may be contacted by a FEMA inspector to schedule an inspection to verify disaster-related damage. As the application for federal assistance is separate from the state's application, an additional inspection may be needed, even if the state has already sent a loss verifier for the State Individual Assistance program.

FEMA inspectors may contact you by phone, text or email depending upon the contact information you provided when you registered.

If you apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance loan, an SBA loss verifier will also estimate the total physical loss to your disaster damaged property.

The inspection generally takes about 20-40 minutes. The inspector will want to see the damaged areas of your home and any damaged furniture and personal property. If there are damages in your attic or crawlspace, you should clear access to that area so the inspector can view damages. There is no fee for the inspection.

FEMA inspectors will have an official FEMA photo ID badge. On the day of the inspection, you may ask the inspector to show their badge. If an inspector refuses to show FEMA photo identification, do not allow the inspection. Disasters sometimes bring out scam artists who prey on the needs of disaster survivors.

Someone 18 years of age or older must be present during the inspection. The inspector will also ask to see:

  • Photo identification
  • Proof of ownership/occupancy of damaged residence (tax bill, mortgage payment book, rental agreement or utility bill)
  • Insurance documents (insurance decision letter and/or an auto insurance policy summary)
  • List of people living in the residence at the time of disaster
  • All disaster-related damages to both real and personal property.
  • Inspectors will not ask for your Social Security number or bank account information.

If your home was found to be inaccessible at the time of inspection, you are required to let FEMA know when the home is accessible to request a new inspection. To update the status of an uninhabitable dwelling you should call the Disaster Assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362. Once the status of your home is updated and you have requested a new inspection, a FEMA inspector will contact you to schedule the inspection.

Once the inspection is complete, FEMA will use the information to review your case and send a letter to you outlining a decision. Read this letter carefully. Many times ineligibility is due to FEMA not having important information, such as proof of ownership or proof of occupancy. You have 60 days to appeal a FEMA decision. The appeal process is detailed in the letter.

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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).

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

For official information on the recovery effort following the Alaska earthquake please visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4413. Follow us on Twitter @FEMARegion10.

The SBA 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. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing [email protected], or visiting SBA's website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.