How to Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance
In this week’s column, I want to share a helpful resource for anyone who was affected by the recent flooding emergency and included in the disaster declaration. Several weeks ago, the president made federal assistance available to Missourians whose property was damaged by the flooding, as well as to those who were affected by tornadoes and other severe storms. This disaster assistance is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also known as FEMA.
I am disappointed by the federal government’s decision not to include those affected by the March flooding events, but I encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible to explore the available resources. If you think you may be eligible, you can register for an official inspection. The registration process is quick and can be done online or over the phone by following the steps below:
- First, contact your insurance agent to determine if your current homeowners, renters or flood insurance policy will cover all or part of your recovery expenses.
- Create a record of your damage, with photos, videos and a list of all impacted items.
- Register with FEMA by visiting disasterassistance.gov or by calling the agency’s toll-free registration line at 800-621-FEMA (3362). You will need to provide your address, contact information, social security number and current insurance and income information.
- FEMA will contact you to schedule a free in-person inspection. The inspector will visit your property on the appointed date to assess the damage, a process that normally takes 30 to 40 minutes. All FEMA inspectors carry official photo ID badges, which you may ask to see before starting the inspection.
- Around seven to 10 days after the inspection, you will receive a determination letter listing the dollar amount and stipulations of any grant funding you may receive.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.