Friday, April 9th, 2010

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, inspectors contracted by FEMA are contacting New Jersey residents applying for disaster assistance following the storms and flooding of mid-March.

These inspectors have approved FEMA identification badges that include the inspectors name, photo and the name of the company under contract with FEMA.

The agency said the inspectors will ask for information to verify the resident’s name, address and registration with FEMA. They will NOT, however, ask for a Social Security number nor ask to be paid for the inspection. The inspection is FREE, so FEMA advises residents to beware of fraudulent individuals attempting to charge for an inspection.

The inspection generally takes 30 – 40 minutes, during which the inspector will assess disaster-related damage for both real and personal property and may take photos of the interior and exterior of the damaged dwelling. The inspector will then enter damage-related information into a handheld computer and send that data electronically to FEMA.

According to FEMA, the inspector does not determine whether a registrant is eligible for assistance, or the amount of a grant the individual may receive.

New Jersey residents living in one of the 12 declared counties, including Morris, who suffered damage to their home or were otherwise affected by the mid-March storm and flooding may be eligible for assistance.

To register for assistance, residents should call FEMA’s toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY/TDD 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired (for relay service, call 711 or 1-800-852-7897) between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., seven days a week. Multi-lingual operators are available to answer calls during this time.

Residents may also register online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov .