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Disaster Assistance

Action Steps

 

Log a complaint with FEMAINFO.US. There is strength in numbers. The media, public officials and lawmakers all respond more effectively to a pattern of complaints than an individual one. State officials and legislators do not have any direct control over FEMA, however, they have access to federal lawmakers and officials that the average citizen does not. Governors, for example, can help you bring your problem to the attention of federal officials, your US Senators and Representative, or other leaders in Washington DC.

FEMA often tries to make things as complicated as possible such that there appears to be complex reasons for aid being delayed or denied. Rather than reinvent the wheel, make use of what we have learned by logging a complaint. The data will remain confidential unless you provide permission for it to be released.

Network with your neighbors. Complaints carry much more weight when a pattern can be shown across multiple situations. Letters are much more effective when they are written on behalf of more than one applicant.

Call and email the president of FEMA's contractor that denied your claim. If you need help locating contractor information, send your request to webmail@femainfo.us. If you know you have been wrongly denied aid, treat the program representative that is responsible for your denial as a delinquent debtor. Most people understand how corporations operate when they are in a bill collecting mode. Aid applicants that have been wrongly denied their benefits need to operate in the same way. The squeaky wheel often really does get oiled. You need to call and email often. Be polite but assertive. Low level staff will very likely be unable to help you. Go to the top.

File a complaint with your US Senators and US Representative. FEMAINFO.US has been instrumental in four congressional hearings. More are on the way. Congress has oversight of FEMA. There are also members of Congress that feel that FEMA has been become dysfunctional in recent years. Your US Senators and US Representative can request congressional hearings and investigations into a wide range of topics, including disaster assistance.

Your letter can go via email with a copy to www.femainfo.us. You can send us a copy of the letter via our Contact function. The letter should be brief and to the point. State your name, the reason for the letter, the impact you are experiancing and what you want your politician to do for you. For example:

"I believe I have been wrongly denied Federal Disaster Assistance in the form of rental assistance. The call center staff told me I did not qualify because I have insurance; however, I have not received any living expenses from my insurance carrier and am homeless as a result.

I have two small children. Life as we knew it has ended.

We desperately need your help. Please intervene on our behalf immediately.

Thank you.

Sincerely"

Use the CC line effectively. The power in many letters exists in large part in the Carbon Copy line. Use it to copy your local newspaper editors and TV station news directors. You should also use it to copy anyone who you believe would have an interest in helping you, or has an interest in knowing if your elected officials are advocating for you.

 

 

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Last Modified: 060706 230201

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