published Thursday, May 5th, 2011

FEMA inspectors now viewing Hamilton, Bradley storm damage

Inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are residents in Tennessee counties who have registered with the agency over storm damage, including Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington counties.

Federal assistance to individuals and households may include grants to help pay for rental housing, essential home repairs and other disaster-related expenses.

Inspectors are private contractors who wear official FEMA identification. Authorized inspectors will only confirm personal detailed information that has been provided previously during the registration process. They will usually not approach an applicant without prior contact.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and various insurance companies also have inspectors in the field.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Residents may register either online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) and will be given a nine-digit application number.

An inspector will then call to schedule an appointment, usually within 10 days. The inspection typically takes 15 to 45 minutes and an adult who lives in the home must be present.

Inspectors will review damage and file a report, but they do not determine eligibility for aid.

The inspector will ask for identification and proof of ownership and occupancy (for homeowners) and occupancy only (for renters). You can speed up the process by having the appropriate documents on hand:

  • A photo ID such as driver’s license or passport.

  • Proof of occupancy, such as mortgage or rent payment or utility bill, or a pay stub or other document with your address :

  • Proof of ownership, such as a deed, title document, mortgage payment book with your name, property insurance policy or property tax receipts

AFTER THE VISIT

You will receive a letter from FEMA containing a decision within 10 days.

Eligible residents will be sent a check or an electronic funds transfer and guidelines for how the money can be used.

Residents may also be eligible for low-interest disaster loans and other assistance.

For questions, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Help is available in most languages.)

Using a smartphone or Web-enabled device, visit m.fema.gov.

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