FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WISE, VA. – Southwestern Virginia residents affected by the March flooding should exercise caution when contracting for home repairs, submitting claims, and replacing damaged items. Federal Coordinating Officer Louis Botta said, “It’s unfortunate, but disasters often bring scam artists into the area to take advantage of the situation.”
Residents should be suspicious of any offer that promises to speed up the insurance or government claims process or requires cash or check deposits. Some scam artists claim to be “FEMA certified.”
State Coordinating Officer Michael M. Cline said, “All FEMA and Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) personnel carry photo identification and flood victims should not hesitate to ask them to show it.”
There are other tips to avoid being cheated:
Flood victims in the presidentially declared disaster area can register by calling FEMA’s toll free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362). The number is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971