June 22, 2024

Home Inspection

Home Inspection, Primary Monitoring for Your Home

FEMA Details Home Inspection Process For Storm Damage | News, Sports, Jobs

3 min read

Photo by John McCabe/The Intelligencer, Wheeling, W.Va.
South York Street on Wheeling Island in Wheeling, W.Va., is closed to traffic as the Ohio River nears its crest of 41.9 feet. South York Street leads to Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack, which is currently underwater and inaccessible.

Homeowners who have applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance in the Northern Panhandle for the floods and storms of April 2-6 will soon be contacted by FEMA representatives to schedule a home inspection, agency officials announced Friday. Applicants in Marshall, Ohio and Wetzel counties from the first round of storms will see FEMA inspectors visit to review damages.

The agency outlined what to expect from those visits and inspections:

FEMA home inspections help determine whether a home is safe, sanitary and livable. To determine whether an applicant is eligible for assistance, FEMA considers the home’s interior and exterior structural soundness; whether the electrical, gas, heat, plumbing, and sewer or septic systems are functional; and whether the home is livable and can be entered and exited safely.

The home inspection process starts with a phone call or text message from a FEMA inspector to the applicant to schedule an appointment for an inspection. More than likely, the call to schedule an inspection will come from an out-of-state phone number. An inspector will attempt to contact an applicant three times over three different days. If inspectors cannot reach an applicant after three attempts, that case will be closed until the applicant contacts FEMA again.

A FEMA inspector will schedule a time to visit your home. The inspector who arrives for the appointment will have an official FEMA badge. If an ID badge isn’t seen, the applicant should ask to see their FEMA identification before proceeding. The inspector will ask the applicant for a photo ID to confirm they are the applicant.

The inspection process usually takes 30 to 40 minutes. Any photos or videos taken of interior or exterior damage to the home should be shown to the inspector.

An applicant unable to meet with the FEMA inspector for an in-person inspection can have a friend or relative act on their behalf to meet with the inspector. The applicant must first provide FEMA with a signed request for another person to be at their home for the inspection. This document allows another person — who is at least 18 years of age — to meet with the inspector and talk about the case with FEMA. ​​​​​​​

The inspector will not collect any documentation and will never ask for personal information like a Social Security number. FEMA also never charges for an inspection.

If a FEMA inspector comes to the person’s home who did not submit a FEMA application, that information may have been used without their knowledge to create a FEMA application. If so, that person should inform the inspector that they did not apply for FEMA assistance so that they can submit a request to stop all further processing on the application.

A fraudulent application could be a sign of identity theft. For information on what to do with suspected identity theft, please visit Identity Theft | FTC Consumer Information or IdentityTheft.gov. For those wishing to apply for FEMA assistance after stopping an application made in their name without their knowledge, the FEMA Helpline will need to assist them in creating a new application. Call 800-621-3362.

At times there can be language or other barriers to completing the inspection. Those needing accommodations for language or a disability can call 800-621-3362 in advance of the inspection and let FEMA know their needs.

For more information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery, visit emd.wv.gov, West Virginia Emergency Management Division Facebook page, www.fema.gov/disaster/4783 and www.facebook.com/FEMA.

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