When you’re facing the aftermath of a property disaster, it can be overwhelming to navigate the process of remediation and rebuilding. When it comes to finding help to pay for emergency repairs, governmental red tape only adds to the frustration. Before you apply for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individuals and Households Program, make sure you meet these requirements:
- Your disaster losses must be in a Presidentially-declared disaster area.
- Damage to the home must have been caused by the Presidentially-declared disaster.
- Homeowner must provide proof of ownership. Property tax records and mortgage statements will be needed. Reach out to your municipality if you aren’t able to produce them.
- Both the renter and the homeowner may also be eligible for Other Needs Assistance (ONA) through FEMA. ONA is available to survivors with uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster.
- A member of the household must be a United States citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.
- Damaged home is where the applicant lives the majority of the year. It’s not available for vacation homes.
- Applicant must have maintained flood insurance if assisted by FEMA in a previous disaster.
- Damaged home is inaccessible or not livable due to the disaster. A qualified disaster remediation specialist will be able to provide the necessary documentation to support your claim.
- Disaster survivor has serious needs or necessary expenses as a result of the disaster that are NOT covered by insurance or any other source.
FEMA advises people to begin rebuilding and cleaning up as quickly as possible. It’s not necessary to wait for a FEMA inspector to make your home secure and livable. Especially in the case of water damage, the faster the remediation the less costly the repairs will be. Property owners must keep receipts for all materials purchased and work performed. While it’s not mandatory, having all storm-related damage photographed before and after repair will help substantiate your claim. A reputable disaster recovery team will compile documentation and photographs needed, guide you through the permit requirements, work with your insurance company to maximize available coverage, and provide professional reporting to support your FEMA applications.
You should check with local officials first before beginning any repair work, as it is important to make sure that you have the proper permits.
Before you begin to spend any money to repair or rebuild your damaged property, state and federal disaster officials stress the importance of consulting community building officials or the planning office for all current rules and regulations. Under absolutely no circumstances should repairs or rebuilding begin before issuance of the appropriate permit.
For additional information, please refer to the following “Assistance to Individuals and Households-Individuals and Households Program (IHP) Fact Sheet” available on the FEMA website:
Insurance Restoration Specialists, Inc. (IRS) is a premier provider of disaster recovery mitigation, environmental remediation, biohazard emergency response and HVAC inspection and cleaning in the New Jersey-Philadelphia-New York City area. IRS is certified by NADCA and have Certified Air Systems Cleaning Technicians and a Certified Ventilation System Inspector on staff.
IRS has been selected to provide disaster recovery services to members of the Educational Services Commission of NJ (ESCNJ), the largest co-op in the state service school districts, colleges, universities, housing authorities, and other county and state agencies throughout New Jersey.
New Jersey State approved Co-op # 65MCESCCPS
RFP # ESCNJ 17/18-34
Contract Dates: 11/16/17-11/15/20