What to Expect After You Register with FEMA

Published 3:28 pm Sunday, September 13, 2020

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Some Survivors May Be Contacted for Remote Home Inspections

BATON ROUGE, La. — If you were affected by Hurricane Laura from Aug. 22-27 and you live in Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermilion, Vernon, or Winn Parish, you may be eligible for FEMA help.

Assistance provided by FEMA for homeowners and renters can include grants for rent and repairs to make their primary home habitable. It can also help other serious disaster-related needs like replacing essential household items, medical and dental expenses and funeral and burial costs.

Survivors should file an insurance claim at the same time as they apply to FEMA. Save yourself time, if you have insurance, you must file a claim.

If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, contact FEMA by either going online to disasterassistance.gov, downloading the FEMA app or by calling the helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.

Information that you need to have when you register includes:

• Address of the damaged primary dwelling where the damage occurred

• Current mailing address

• Current telephone number

• Insurance information

• Total household annual income

• Routing and account number for checking or savings account so FEMA can directly transfer disaster assistance funds

• A description of disaster-caused damage and losses

Home Inspections and COVID-19
If you reported that you cannot or may not be able to safely live in your home, it may be necessary for FEMA to perform an inspection of the damaged dwelling. Due to COVID-19, home inspections may be conducted remotely by phone.

For remote inspections, FEMA inspectors will contact you by phone to ask questions about the type and extent of damage sustained. Remote inspections provide a new way of evaluating damage — comparable to traditional, in-person inspections – and expedite the delivery of recovery assistance to survivors based on their eligibility.

If you had minimal damage and can live in your home, you will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection when applying to FEMA. If you find significant disaster-caused damage after you apply to FEMA, you can request an inspection.

Part of the FEMA disaster assistance registration process includes providing a call back phone number for FEMA to contact you to set up a home inspection for damages caused by the disaster and other helpline information. Applicants using a relay service, such as your videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel, should provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

If you have any questions, you can always contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. For TTY call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay service, please call 800-621-3362.