When a large-scale natural disaster occurs, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or wildfire, local and state resources can be depleted quickly. When this happens, the State’s Governor will request the President proclaim a Major Disaster Declaration which activates the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin distributing funds to those deemed eligible. Our experts can help immediately, with the experience and resources to mobilize quickly and begin working on your behalf to help qualify and obtain the maximum financial recovery for your property damage.
John Marini, President and CEO at Adjusters International discusses how FEMA and an insurance policy work together:
Key Steps To Filing A Claim with FEMA
Damaged property must be in a federally declared disaster area.
Find out if your property is in a declared area by going to FEMA’s website.
File a claim with your insurance company as well.
Failure to report property damage to your insurance company can affect your eligibility for federal assistance from FEMA.
FEMA does not cover insurance deductibles.
FEMA cannot help pay for anything that your insurance will cover.
Prepare necessary information for the application process. You will need:
Social Security Number
Address of property that was damaged
Current address (where you are living in the interim)
Current/Working phone number
Property insurance information (carrier, policy number, etc.)
Total household income
Routing and account information for checking/savings account
Description of disaster-related damages and losses
Disaster Recovery Today is offered free of charge as a public service by our team of experts. Within its pages is the knowledge gained from years of study and field experience that has made our professionals recognized specialists in FEMA’s Public Assistance program. We have assisted recipients and applicants with virtually all stages of recovery from planning to closeout, and are pleased to be able to share this expertise and insight from a non-FEMA perspective.
Following a declared disaster, organizations need to implement a well thought out recovery approach. We have identified nine key steps to a successful recovery under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.
The first step after a declared disaster is to develop a management approach. An “ad-hoc” recovery team needs to be created, roles and responsibilities delineated, and a well-organized filing approach must be established to handle the many projects.
Determine your losses beginning with your cleanup and emergency response. Then building, equipment and supplies losses must be quantified “as it was” and “as it has to be.” Lost revenues and temporary relocation costs need to be calculated as well.
Categorize the losses: FEMA categories A-G, insured/uninsured, responsibility of OFA, and special considerations.
Determine eligibility. General eligibility requirements include the following: it needs to be required as the result of the event; it must be caused by the event (no pre-existing damage); it must be located within the designated disaster area; and it must be the legal responsibility of an eligible applicant.
Develop a rebuilding plan. The applicant needs to consider the recovery “as they want it to be” considering whether to replace or relocate certain buildings, fixtures or infrastructure. The mitigation approach is outlined in Section 406 and Section 404 of The Stafford Act. Categorization of anticipated insurance proceeds also needs to be well documented.
Develop a funding approach. These can be broken down into the following: Standard Project, Alternate Project, Improved Project or in special circumstances the Grant Acceleration Program.
Implement the plan. Implementation involves the development of applicable project worksheets and proposals and the completion of approved projects.
Final inspection and closeout. This includes the state audit of all large projects, dispute resolution, re-evaluation of applicable insurance reductions and the acquisition and maintenance of adequate insurance if reasonable and practical.
The audit process. FEMA’s Office of the Inspector General often selects subrecipient for program and financial audits. This can occur any time throughout the process; up to three years from the completion of all projects.
Disaster Planning — 9 Steps to a Successful Recovery
Discover in detail how our team of professionals is playing an instrumental role in helping hundreds of organizations, governments, communities, not-for-profits, and private sector clients prepare and recover sooner from the worst disasters.
We retained your services to assist us in the Public Assistance grant application process and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program with FEMA and the State of Florida. This turned out to be one of the most sensible decisions we made. Your organization made a very onerous situation much more bearable. ...The experience and knowledge that you provided us was invaluable.Without hesitation, we would be delighted to recommend your services to anyone who faces the task of processing large, complicated grant applications to the federal government. Your systematic approach and attention to detail allowed the City of Fort Myers to obtain our maximum eligible reimbursement.
Director, Financial Services
Judy Hartwell - City of Fort Myers, Florida
Your knowledge of the complex governmental regulations and equally complex insurance and adjusting issues really helped the County maximize the public assistance that was available after all of these disasters. You delivered what you promised and we are confident in your ability and the ability of your firm to provide these services fully on a technical and professional level, yet be able to translate in a clear and concise manner the intricate and sometimes subjective FEMA regulations which we could not have done without you.Without hesitation we would recommend you and your firm to anyone that is faced with the processing of large and complex disaster loss claims.
Salvatore R. Zappulla
Division Director Monroe County Budget and Finance - Monroe County, Florida
Adjusters International’s involvement helped reverse FEMA’s original denial of funding to full reimbursement for the repairs. In the end, Adjusters International’s determination of eligibility allowed the applicant to secure over $14 million in FEMA recovery funding for the facility.
A lack of adequate resources caused the situation to unfold the way it did in Slidell. Due to overburdened FEMA officials and insurance company adjusters, a number of projects were overlooked or underestimated.