The new FEMA claim centers set up in Iowa have been busy. Lew Wood is the agency’s spokesman in Iowa while it runs the temporary assistance centers. Registration centers have received 976 applications already from the 14 counties and other locations all over the state. If you’ve lost property to last week’s high wind and flooding, Wood says you should file for federal low-interest loans or the other aid available for storm victims, even if you don’t live in a county that’s been declared a federal disaster area. Don’t prejudge your eligibility even if you don’t live in a designated county because while they got the declaration based on preliminary damage reports, as time goes by more counties may be added. Wood cites an example. Black Hawk County, which does NOT yet have a federal designation for disaster aid, had received 121 calls by last night. Among the 14 counties that have received declarations, Clayton County has the most at 143 calls, so Black Hawk’s not far behind. Wood says anybody thinking of making a claim should call first.The agency has 8 inspectors in the field so when you call 800-621-3362 within a few days they’ll come out, survey the damage, write a report and send it in electronically to the center where they determine the granting of disaster assistance. So far, he says the inspectors have completed 85-percent of the inspections issued, and sent the reports to FEMA.
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