Many of the victims of Hurricane Sandy are seeking help from FEMA. Greg Raab provides some useful advice. He is the Manager of Integrated Services at Adjusters International is a licensed Public Adjuster, a Board Member for the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA), and currently works as a Disaster Recovery Consultant representing NY, and many other FEMA-eligible applicants.
He says that he has been responding to more and more people in need of every day help after Sandy’s aftermath. “Many have flood insurance, some have just a homeowners policy, and some, including renters, have no insurance coverage at all.” According to Raab, there are different homeowner responsibilities associated with each situation. However, regardless of the situation, common things everyone should keep in mind is to focus on their safety and the safety of their family first, as everything else can be replaced. Also, keep detailed documentation of everything that is happening, including who you talk to, correspondence from insurance companies, FEMA, and local authorities to name a few.
When you are seeking help, Raab states that the best thing for individuals to do is contact their local county emergency management office first, as usually the most updated information and resources begin at the local level.
“They may have immediate remedies for issues you may have including access to Red Cross, local food banks for food and water, etc. They may be able to best direct you to specific FEMA hotlines and websites for the fastest response,” he adds.
It’s important to also note that FEMA assistance will ultimately be available for losses or assistance above and beyond what your insurance policy or policies can provide, so it is very important to know your policies and the responsibilities of the homeowner contained therein, such as timely reporting, properly mitigating your damages, and filing timely proofs of loss says Raab.