April 3, 2011  //  


Media Contacts:
FEMA – Josie Pritchard        (276) 973-0078
VDEM – Suzanne Simmons   (276) 973-0063

May 7, 2002


WISE, VA. – Inspectors are now visiting people who have registered for assistance to recover from the flooding and severe storms that hit Buchanan and Tazewell counties in late April and early May. The announcement from Federal Coordinating Officer Louis Botta and Virginia State Coordinating Officer Michael M. Cline comes just two days after President Bush issued the disaster declaration for the two counties.

“The inspections help us establish the nature of the damages experienced by a disaster victim, which in turn allows us to make an eligibility determination and then quickly provide the assistance that is most appropriate to the individual’s needs,” Botta said.

One or more inspectors from different agencies may look at damaged property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) schedules inspections within seven days of registration to verify losses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) usually sends loss verifiers to inspect damaged property of those who have submitted completed loan applications. The American Red Cross may also send inspectors to meet with disaster victims, while local building and safety inspectors may come to see if damaged structures are safe.

“We are advising applicants to ask for identification from anyone claiming to be a damage inspector,” Cline said. “All inspectors and verifiers carry official photo identification. If an inspector is not wearing an identification card or badge, ask to see it.”

Residents of the two counties who suffered damages should call the FEMA toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362), which is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Those who are speech- or hearing- impaired can call 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) to register.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Information on the Southwest Virginia disaster is also available on FEMA’s homepage on the Internet at, or VDEM’s homepage at Information also is available through FEMA’s 24-fax-on-demand service by calling (202) 646-FEMA. RADIO NEWS DIRECTORS: For recorded actualities on response and recovery operations call the FEMA Radio Network at 1-800-323-5248.


Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund