Preparedness & Recovery

FEMA Registering Claims From Hurricane Harvey

'People need to always check because there are always a lot of scams that go on after disasters. Always make sure that you check identification.'

by Marissa Nunez, The Huntsville Item, Texas / September 5, 2017

(TNS) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently helping folks affected by Tropical Storm Harvey file claims on any possible damage through the end of the week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Fire Station No. 1 located at 1987 Veterans Memorial Parkway.

FEMA staff will be working to register all claims filed by folks, with claimants not needing to be Walker County residents. Helen Marr, crew leader for the disaster assistance specialist team, says those needing FEMA assistance need to register quickly in order to receive assistance as soon as possible.

“We are not going to deny anybody that has to file. What FEMA helps with is the primary residence, however when you register, it opens the door for other assistance. You can claim disaster-related loses on your income tax if it has been presidentially declaration, for example. There is a lot of assistance that people can get. It opens the door once you register and the sooner you register, the sooner it get the process going.”

Claims can also be registered online by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or by telephone at 1(800) 621-FEMA (3362). FEMA staff will also be helping register residents throughout the week. Marr urges people to check for proper identification.

“We’ve been trying to get the word out to reach as many people as possible,” Marr said. “We will be going door to door in the neighborhoods and FEMA staff will have a federal ID on. People need to always check because there are always a lot of scams that go on after disasters. Always make sure that you check identification.”

Those who register need to know their Social Security number, but do not need to bring any other documentation for this registration process. After registering, residents will be visited by an inspector who will assess the property.

Marr says folks will need to show proof of residency, such as a utility or electrical bill.

“To file, we will need to know their information, including their income and social security number but they do not need to bring anything with them at this point. When the inspector comes around they will need to show proof that they were living there, such as a light bill. If they own the house, they may need to show a deed, homeowners taxes or insurance.”

FEMA staff will be available on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for citizens still needing to register or need help registering.

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