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Posted October 23, 2017 | 9:47 AM

After You File a FEMA Claim

Resources are available to help residents and small businesses affected by Hurricane Irma

You've secured the house or apartment, piled up fallen branches, and filed an application for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Now what?

Within days, a FEMA inspector will telephone to make an appointment to assess damages. Here are some things you can do to help ensure that inspection goes smoothly.

Inspectors are contractors, not FEMA employees. They have photo identification. Ask them to show it to you.

After the inspector's visit, FEMA officials will review the case and send a letter detailing their decision regarding your claim.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, federal officials declared a disaster in Hillsborough County and peninsular Florida. That means FEMA assistance is available. The federal agency provides financial resources and other help for disaster-caused and personal property damages not covered by insurance. Low-interest loans also are available to qualified small businesses.

Disaster recovery resources are easily accessible.

If you have not sought disaster assistance but think you might qualify, help is available. File a claim online or call (800) 462-7585. Also, a local Disaster Recovery Center has opened at The Regent, 6437 Watson Road, in Riverview.