FEMA is a part of the federal government responsible for natural disaster response and management. They can step in to aid state or local governments after the president has declared an area a federal disaster zone. A disaster may include hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, fires, acts of terror or manmade error and damage. FEMA is also responsible for running flood insurance throughout the United States. FEMA is a federal agency with a budget of over $10 billion yearly.
Overview of FEMA
FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is an agency that is a part of the Department of Homeland Security. FEMA was created in 1978, although it did not have offices or employees until 1979. Jimmy Carter was responsible for the creation of FEMA. FEMA is an organization that aids local and state governments when disasters or emergencies are beyond their ability to fix or manage. FEMA aids with natural disasters as well as human disasters, ranging from hurricanes and earthquakes to terrorist acts and nuclear accidents. FEMA is also responsible for the management of the National Flood Insurance Program and the Center for Domestic Preparedness. Other duties of FEMA include hazard reduction, updating safety codes for federal buildings, creating emergency food and shelter areas and preparing for any acts of terror, including biochemical weapons. FEMA has had a number of scandals over its many years. Perhaps the most well-known issues are FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina and the fraud over Hurricane Sandy compensation. FEMA is responsible for distributing aid and insurance compensation after flooding, which is often caused by hurricanes. FEMA has been criticized for its slow response to Hurricane Katrina and its potential negligence in allowing many homeowners to be defrauded out of insurance compensation for damages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Although FEMA is responsible for managing and underwriting flood insurance in the United States, you do not actually file any claims through FEMA themselves. If you have experienced flooding and believe that FEMA and your flood insurance owe you money, the first step is to file a claim through your insurers. You may apply for assistance through FEMA if you are a disaster survivor in an area that has been federally declared a disaster zone. However, if you are looking for an insurance claim after a natural disaster, you should directly contact your insurance agent. They will need your policy number, the name of your company, contact information and descriptions and photos of all lost or damaged property if possible. An adjuster will visit your property to assess the damage and file your claim. If you do not have insurance or you believe that your insurance company is not offering you a sufficient amount of resources, you may apply directly to FEMA for disaster assistance. You are only eligible for disaster assistance if you reside within a county that has been declared a federal disaster area.
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