A flood, fire and other disasters are devastating to families. Thankfully, there is assistance you can take advantage of.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides help to many of those in need; homeowners and others that need special aid when a disaster strikes.
What do you have to do to get assistance? Just ask for it. Here’s how.
Although the government and its workers are not always quick to respond, you can get the process started by visiting this link. You can also call the FEMA helpline at (800) 621-3362. You will enjoy an automated voice service but be patient and you should have your questions answered.
After you apply for disaster assistance, FEMA will mail you a copy of your application and a copy of a document entitled “Help After a Disaster.” This is especially helpful if you don’t have insurance coverage for the disaster event your family is facing. This happens more than you think.
Here is what FEMA says they will do for you, in part, according to the government website:
- If you do not have insurance: An inspector will contact you after you apply to schedule a time to meet you at your damaged home.
- If you have insurance, you need to file your insurance claim and provide FEMA with a decision letter (settlement or denial) from your insurance company before FEMA disaster relief issues an inspection.
- There is an exception for damages caused by flooding; if you have flood insurance, FEMA will issue an inspection before receiving a copy of your flood insurance decision letter to evaluate your eligibility for temporary living expenses since these are not covered by flood insurance.
- About 10 days after the inspection FEMA will decide if you qualify for assistance. If so, FEMA will send you a check by mail (or direct deposit) with an explanation of what the money covers (i.e. rent or home repair).
- If FEMA determines that you are ineligible for any reason, you will receive a letter and a chance to appeal. Appeals must be in writing and mailed within 60 days of the determination. Read the letter carefully for the reason of ineligibility before filing your appeal.
But no matter what, when in need, your disaster restoration company can take care of you. Give them a call today!
It’s coming. You can probably feel it right now. Space heater safety season!
That’s right. Brrr! For some across the country, this means trying to keep warm and snug in the home.
Some find comfort from their fireplaces. Others might use electric blankets. And others rely on space heaters, either gas powered or electric, to boost the comfort level their regular heating system can’t always provide, especially in sub-zero temperatures.
Space heater safety is very important, as many suffer from accidental fires and burns annually from these necessary devices.
The first consideration is which type of space heater you will choose. Electric models are considered safer than those which use fuel, which can be overturned and quickly cause a fire difficult to extinguish. So be smart when shopping and consider how the heater will be used and if there are children or pets (or clumsy adults) that might tip it over.
Space Heater Safety features
- Consider the size and shape of the heater. Lower-profile heaters are more difficult to tip over. Some space heaters are shaped like a tower, and can easily be tipped. Avoid those.
- While all space heaters should have an automatic turn-off mechanism if tipped over, still do your research and ensure yours has one.
- If you have children or pets, an outer grill safety feature should be mandatory. You don’t want accidental contact burns to occur.
General Fire Safety tips
- Measure the area you wish to heat and make sure the device you purchase is sufficient for the space. An overworked heater can be dangerous. And one that is too large for a room can overheat the room and be uncomfortable.
- When purchasing a fuel-fired heater, never fill it while the device is on. Open flames are dangerous. Use appropriate, approved containers to carry the fuel.
- When purchasing an electric heater, make sure it is plugged into a three-prong outlet that is grounded. Any extension cords you use must be able to handle the current your heater will need. Be sure to ask an expert about this.
- Common sense dictates keeping any flammable materials away from the heater, such as furnishing, draperies, etc.
- When you turn the heater off, give it plenty of time to cool down before touching or moving it.
But if anything does happen, such as a fire or smoke damage, then it’s time to get some professional help. Call your disaster restoration experts. After all, it pays to call a pro!