Tornado survivors urged to begin clean-up, repairs

BATON ROUGE, La (LOCAL 33) - State and federal emergency management officials encourage survivors of the Feb. 7 tornadoes to begin repairs as soon as they can.

Storm survivors do not need to wait for a visit from FEMA or their insurance company to clean up and make repairs. FEMA inspectors and insurance claims adjusters will be able to verify damage.

It’s important for survivors to take photographs of damage and keep recovery-related receipts. Insurance companies may need both items, while FEMA may need receipts.

Survivors should check for structural damage before entering their homes.

Emergency management officials encourage survivors to register for FEMA help as soon as they can. They only need to register once and only one registration is allowed per household.

FEMA assistance may help eligible homeowners and renters pay for a temporary place to stay, make repairs or replace certain damaged contents.

Survivors can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Multilingual operators are available. Survivors who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. Survivors who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362.

FEMA assistance is not taxable, doesn’t need to be repaid and doesn’t affect other government benefits.

Those who are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration should complete and return the application for a low-interest disaster loan. It is not required to accept a loan offer, but returning a completed application is necessary for FEMA to consider survivors for certain forms of disaster assistance.


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