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FEMA inspections of applicants’ homes under way

Agency offers information on what to expect

Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013 9:02 a.m. CST

Inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have begun meeting with disaster applicants in Grundy and La Salle counties, as well as Kendall, Will, McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, Cook, and Fulton counties.

Inspectors are reviewing damage caused by severe storms and flooding from April 16 through May 5, 2013.

Here is what you should expect if your storm/flood-damaged home is inspected:

• Generally, within 10 days of registering for FEMA assistance, an inspector will call you to schedule an appointment to visit your damaged property. This property must be your primary residence.

• Be prepared to coordinate a time for an appointment. Typically, inspections take 15 to 45 minutes. When an appointment time is agreed upon, the applicant or another adult who lived at the property must be present.

• When the inspector arrives, look for official FEMA identification. The badge should include an identification number and a photo of the inspector. If a badge is not readily visible, ask the inspector to see it.

• Authorized inspectors will only confirm personal detailed information that has been provided previously during the registration process. FEMA inspectors will never ask for money, for bank account information, or for a Social Security number. If someone tells you he or she is a FEMA inspector and asks you these questions, notify your local authorities.

• The inspector will ask you for identification and proof of ownership and occupancy if you are a homeowner. If you are a renter, only occupancy will be verified. You can speed up the process by having the following appropriate documents on hand: a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport; proof of occupancy, which may include a lease, rent receipt, recent utility bill, or other document confirming the home was your primary residence, which could include a pay stub or similar document showing the address of the damaged home; proof of ownership, which may include a deed showing applicant as the legal owner, a title that lists applicant on escrow or title document, mortgage payment book that names the applicant along with the address, a property insurance policy with applicant’s name as the insured, tax receipt or bill that lists the address and the applicant as the responsible party.

A FEMA video about home inspection is available online at fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/5027 . You must register for assistance before an inspector can schedule a visit. Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the storms may register for assistance by calling the telephone registration line at (800) 621-FEMA (3362).

For speech-or hearing-impaired applicants, the TTY number is (800) 462-7585 and Video Relay Service may be accessed at (800) 621-3362. These lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Registration is also possible online at fema.gov or DisasterAssistance.gov; and by smart phone or tablet at m.fema.gov.

Keep in mind July 9, 2013 is the last day to register for assistance in McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, Cook, La Salle, Kendall, Will, Grundy and Fulton counties.

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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