July 13, 2024

Home Inspection

Home Inspection, Primary Monitoring for Your Home

FEMA may be inspecting homes after wildfires and flooding | Local News

2 min read

After residents apply for FEMA assistance because their homes were damaged in the Salt and South Fork fires — which include flood damages — a home inspection may be necessary to help determine whether the home is safe, sanitary and livable, a FEMA press release on Saturday reads.

The inspectors will call or text applicants to arrange to meet at the home. They will leave messages and/or texts on the phone number listed on the FEMA application. These communications may come from an unfamiliar phone number, and it is important that applicants respond so their application can be processed.

To speed up the inspection process, applicants should:

–    Ensure their home or mailbox number is clearly visible from the road.

–    Keep their appointment or notify the inspector if a postponement is necessary.

–    Authorize another adult to act as their agent and be present on their behalf during the inspection if they have evacuated and cannot return for the inspection.

–    Be reachable, and update FEMA if you contact information has changed.

–    Tell the inspector about other property losses or disaster-related needs such as transportation, medical or dental care or tools needed for a trade and educational materials so inspectors can relay the information to FEMA.

Inspectors try a minimum of three times to contact the applicant, calling at different times on different days.

The inspectors do not make any decisions regarding eligibility for assistance. Information gathered during the inspection is only one of several criteria used by FEMA to determine if applicants are eligible for federal assistance.

The housing inspector will consider:

–    The structural soundness of the home, both inside and outside.

–    Whether the electrical, gas, heat, plumbing and sewer/septic systems are all in working order.

–    Whether the home is safe to live in and can be entered and exited safely.

All FEMA representatives have official identification. Housing inspectors will make an appointment with the applicant before coming. They will already have the applicant’s FEMA application number. They carry photo identification and will show it to the applicant. For security reasons, federal identification may not be photographed. Inspectors will never ask for, or accept, money. Their service is free.

Residents should not be concerned if an inspector is seen in their neighborhood but does not visit every home. They are following schedules and can only visit houses on that day’s list.

A typical home inspection takes about 45 minutes to complete. After the inspection, applicants should allow seven to 10 days for processing. If they have questions about the status of their application, they can call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or visit a disaster recovery center.

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