BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — People all over Southeast Louisiana are trying to piece their homes back together following Hurricane Ida.
For many, this may require federal help.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said to contact your insurance first and take pictures of the damages for documentation.
“Because your insurance company is going to ask for proof of damage. They are going to send out an adjuster and you may have to make some decisions to save your property, but you want to make sure you have documentation to show proof of what actually happened,” BBB President Carmen Million explained.
After filing a claim with your insurance, FEMA said you may also be eligible for federal assistance to help cover costs.
“After you file a claim with your insurance, follow that up by registering with FEMA because it could turn out that you are underinsured. Of course, if you don’t have insurance you can be considered on a case by case basis,” said FEMA Representative Nate Custer.
He said these disaster funds aren’t just for those who experience major damage, but for minor damages also.
“What we want to try to do is make your home safe, secure, and functional so you can continue living in it or you can get back to it,” said Custer.
“Don’t hold off on doing it. Do it as soon as you can. People have a 60 day period in which they can register,” he said.
“There’s really no strings attached, as long as you are using the money to repair the damage. Use it to take care of what happened with Hurricane Ida,” said Custer.
You can register by phone, on the FEMA App or online.
Other BBB tips on safe recovery are included below:
- Check your insurance policy – Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners or renters’ insurance policies. In some high-risk flood areas, home and business owners may be required by law to carry flood insurance. To learn more about your state’s requirements check with your Insurance Commissioner.
- Repairing the damage – Don’t make any permanent changes to your property until you get approval from your insurance provider. They may not fully reimburse you for repairs made without their permission. Take photos of the storm damage to show your insurance company.
- Ask for proof of liability, workers’ compensation, and licensing – Be aware of scammers. Verify the contractor has the correct license to do work in your state. This protects you in case something happens while working on your property.