July 22, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY – Due to the nationwide Covid-19 emergency, FEMA is using remote inspections to assess damage to homes in Salt Lake and Davis counties cause by earthquakes between March 18 and April 17.
Utahns who applied for federal disaster assistance — and reported that they may not or cannot live at home due to earthquake damage — will be contacted by FEMA to schedule a remote inspection.
FEMA inspectors will call applicants by phone to ask about the type and extent of damage sustained. Assistance will be based on the applicant’s responses during the remote inspection.
Utah residents impacted by the March 18 quake or resulting aftershocks may apply for assistance or get information on the status of their FEMA applications at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. They can also call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Help is available in most languages.
Upon registration with FEMA, those with minimal damage who can live in their homes will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection. Instead, they will receive a letter from FEMA explaining that they may call the FEMA Helpline to request an inspection if they find significant disaster-caused damage to their home after they have applied.
FEMA will follow-up with those who reported minor damage and were not issued an inspection to see if their housing situation has changed. Based on their response, FEMA may issue an inspection, if requested, to assess the disaster-caused damage.
Reasonable accommodations, including translation and ASL interpreters via Video Relay Service, will be available during the remote inspection process to ensure effective communication with applicants with limited English proficiency, applicants with disabilities, and other individuals with access and functional needs.
Remote inspections provide a new way of evaluating damage, comparable to traditional, in-person inspections, and this expedites the delivery of recovery assistance. This interim policy helps protect the health and safety of Utah residents while also ensuring that eligible disaster survivors receive assistance from FEMA.
Make sure that FEMA has your current contact information. And be aware that phone calls or texts from FEMA may appear to come from unidentified numbers.
To verify that the inspector is speaking to the correct applicant, the inspector will ask for the last four digits of the FEMA Registration ID — a nine-digit number given after completing an application. The inspector will then provide the first four digits of the applicant’s Registration ID to complete the verification process.
Applicants are urged to pay attention to all communications from FEMA. If you have questions, please call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) and speak to a FEMA specialist.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.