What happens after Vermonters call the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) and TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired or goes online to apply at http://www.disasterassistance.gov or by mobile ap at m.fema.gov?
Applicants are assigned a registration identification number for future reference in identifying their case. A FEMA inspector will telephone in a few days to make an appointment to visit the damaged home or apartment and assess the damage. During that initial telephone contact, the inspector will advise the applicant of what documentation is needed.
The following are points to remember during inspections:
- · All inspectors wear a current photo identification badge.
- · Clothing with names or insignias is not an indication they work for the agency.
- · All FEMA inspectors carry a hand-held computer. It contains information about the person whose household they are inspecting.
- · Inspectors do not determine any dollar amounts. They only look at reported damage and document it.
- · Inspectors do not carry money or ask for money.
Among other programs, FEMA may provide housing assistance, which may include lodging expense reimbursement, repair assistance and/or temporary rental assistance.
After taking the first step of the assistance process – calling the registration number – the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may send the applicant a loan application packet. It is most important to complete and return the SBA packet. If the SBA determines that homeowners or renters do not qualify for a loan, their name may be referred for assistance through the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program.
ONA may include medical, dental, funeral expenses, furniture, clothing, some appliances, vehicle costs (up to state limits), and other eligible expenses resulting from the disaster.
If the SBA packet is not completed and returned, the applicant may not be considered eligible for certain types of ONA assistance.
Additionally, every Vermonter who registers for assistance will also receive the informative FEMA publication entitled publication “Help After a Disaster: Applicants Guide to the Individual’s and Households Program.” This 29 page booklet truly provides a wealth of information about FEMA’s individual assistance process and will help answer most questions. This booklet may be found at this link: http://www.kdheks.gov/download/disaster_recovery/help_after_disaster.pdf