July 16, 2020
Utah homeowners and renters in Salt Lake and Davis counties who had uninsured losses from the March 18 earthquake may be eligible for federal disaster assistance from FEMA.
FEMA has programs that provide financial help with temporary housing expenses, basic home repairs and other essential disaster-related needs.
First, if you haven’t already done so, contact your insurance company and file a claim for the disaster-caused damage. Make sure to take photographs or video of any damage you had and keep all receipts for repair work.
If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, register with FEMA.
Registration is free and doesn’t take long. You can register in several ways:
- Visit DisasterAssistance.gov and click on “Apply Online”
- Download the FEMA App for smartphones
- Call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. MDT.
It is helpful to have the following information available when you register:
- Address of the dwelling/structure where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
- Current mailing address
- Current telephone number
- Insurance information
- Total household annual income
- Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account)
- A description of disaster-caused damage and losses
In conjunction with the Utah Division of Emergency Management (Utah DEM), and in consideration of the pandemic, FEMA personnel will work remotely from alternative workspaces until further notice. Health and safety are the highest priorities—for Utahns and for FEMA personnel assisting recovery.
If you reported that you may not be able to live safely in your home, it may be necessary for FEMA to perform an inspection of the damaged dwelling. Because of the pandemic, FEMA field inspection will usually be conducted remotely.
For remote inspections, FEMA inspectors will contact applicants by phone to answer questions about the type and extent of damage sustained. Remote inspections provide a new way of evaluating damage, comparable to traditional, in-person inspections, and this expedites the delivery of recovery assistance.
Survivors with minimal damage who can live in their homes will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection when applying to FEMA. However, they may request an inspection if significant disaster-caused damage is discovered later.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.