Friday, October 14, 2005

Damage Inspections Progressing For Hurricane Rita Victims

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that progress is being made in the inspection of homes damaged by Hurricane Rita. More than 400 FEMA-contracted inspectors are spreading out across parishes hard hit by this storm.

Many homeowners received home inspections in less than two weeks after they applied with FEMA for disaster assistance. The rate of processing inspections is increasing, which will bring aid to other affected homeowners sooner. To date, nearly 25,000 inspections have been completed in the three weeks since Hurricane Rita hit the Gulf Coast.

Residents whose homes have not yet been inspected will be called at the contact number they gave when they registered. The inspector will set up a time for an inspection appointment. If homeowners have evacuated to another area and cannot return for an inspection, the inspector who calls can arrange for an authorized agent, named by the homeowner, or a FEMA agent to be present during the inspection.

Residents are reminded that if their home was damaged by both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, they should register with FEMA for both disasters. In addition, if their contact phone number or address has changed since they registered, they should report the change to FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for people who are speech- or hearing-impaired.

Changes also can be made at the FEMA Web site, www.fema.gov, and at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC).

Locations of DRCs can be obtained by calling the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) and following the prompt to the Helpline. Telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice.

Inspections are ongoing for those who suffered damages from Hurricane Katrina. More than 200,000 inspections have been completed on Katrina-damaged homes in the six weeks since that storm.

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