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Disaster Recovery: FEMA

What to Expect After Filing for FEMA Assistance

FEMA Process Info:  After you fill out your online application, you will receive an email telling you that an inspection is required. FEMA will send an inspector to your property to inspect it and verify damages, prove occupancy (driver's license, utility bill), and prove ownership (title or insurance), car damages (proof of liability insurance for your car, title and registration would be good to have on hand). Pictures can help if the work has been done already, and if you can get pictures, do so.

Information Needed to Apply

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the location where the damage occured (pre-disaster address)
  • Current address
  • Current telephone number
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
  • A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses

Flood Insurance

FEMA Number: 1-800-621-FEMA

How to Document Your Damage

Document all damage. This is a crucial part of the insurance claims process. Without proper and thorough documentation, your insurer could deny your claim.

  • Take photographs of any damaged/discarded objects, including furniture, clothing, appliances, and other belongings.
  • Photograph any structural damage, cosmetic/surface-level damage, and any standing water levels, both inside and outside your home. You can also use video footage to supplement your photos if you have a video recorder.
  • Photograph and document any damage to other structures on your property. This may include your garage, tool shed, or swimming pool.
  • Have your electrical system assessed by a professional electrician. Most insurance companies will reimburse you for any necessary inspections.
  • Once again, do not throw out any items until an insurance adjuster has visited your home. You can compile the damaged property in your garage or yard, if it is safe and feasible to do so. That way your home and undamaged property will not be subjected to any additional mold.