Here are some helpful tips if you are looking for assistance. If you have any questions, make sure to contact the Disaster Response Call Center.
- Register with FEMA (800-621-3362) even if you think everything is covered by insurance. There may be undiscovered damage and if you haven’t registered in the first 60 days, you cannot apply.
- Never throw away your SBA or FEMA letters.
- If the FEMA application is rejected, always appeal! The first two pages of the application are boilerplate legalese. The third page is the explanation. Most people don’t read that far. You can call and ask for an explanation. It could be as simple as forgetting to add the ZIP code or date the signature.
- Register home damage with Crisis Cleanup to have volunteer help: 800-451-1954.
- Don’t be scammed by unscrupulous contractors. Make sure he is someone local with a good reputation. Never pay the contractor up front. He might never return to do the work. Never tell the contractor the size of the FEMA award–the estimate to repair will always equal it.
- Use FEMA funds as directed; don’t use the home repair money for car repairs or a TV. You could be audited.
- Don’t wait to do mold remediation and weatherization repairs assuming FEMA and your county will offer a buyout. This decision won’t be made for two years, and if the property is not selected, it will be unlivable.
- Don’t delay immediate weather-exclusion repairs and mold-remediation, waiting for a FEMA inspector. Take lots of pictures. Do everything necessary to prevent further damage.