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FEMA Disaster Recovery Center to open at the Agri-Center on Nov. 1

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is opening a Disaster Recovery Center in Cairo in the coming days to help local citizens who need assistance in their recovery from Hurricane Michael. Richard Phillips, director of Grady County Emergency Management Agency, says FEMA will operate from the Grady County Agri-Center and should be operational by Thursday, Nov. 1. Meanwhile, agents are knocking on doors to offer individual assistance assessments and answer questions.
Those with special needs, such as medical, disability or can’t get out of the house should send his or her name, address and phone number to
To begin the FEMA process, people should apply online at or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for hearing and speech impaired. Take and keep pictures of property damage.
In addition to FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration will be on hand at the Agri-Center to offer information on its low interest disaster loans for both businesses and homeowners. Farmers would apply for low interest disaster loans through the USDA.
Those who experienced damage in the hurricane are encouraged to file a claim with their insurance company. Those with uninsured or underinsured losses from Michael should contact FEMA for federal assistance by going online to or by calling 800-621-3362.
People may start the clean-up process, but should photograph/video damage and keep all receipts for repair work.
For those with insurance:
FEMA may not send an inspector right away. Insurance documentation should be submitted to FEMA to show coverage is insufficient to meet disaster-related needs or that additional living expenses provided by the insurance company have been exhausted. FEMA cannot pay for damage covered by insurance or duplicated benefits from another source.
Next, Comes A Call
A FEMA inspector will make contact to schedule an appointment seven to 10 days after registration. the home damage is uninsured. During that call, homeowners should write down the inspector’s name, date of call, date and time of appointment and inspector’s telephone number.
Inspection Day
The inspection is free. It generally takes 30-40 minutes and consists of inspecting all areas of the home and a review of the records.
The inspector will ask to see: photo ID; proof of ownership/occupancy of damaged residence such as: structural insurance, tax bill mortgage payment book; insurance documents: home and/or auto (structural insurance/auto declaration sheet); list of household occupants; and disaster related damages to both real and personal property. The inspector will have FEMA ID in the form of a badge with a photo that states FEMA and Contractor.
There may be more than one inspector to visit applicants during the recovery process. In addition to FEMA contracted housing inspectors, representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as state and local officials may also visit neighborhoods in affected areas.
Survivors should receive a determination letter with their eligibility decision and the reason for it by regular mail or electronically, typically within seven to 10 days after the inspection.
For those who are eligible, the letter states the dollar amount of the grant and how the money must be used. Anyone who disagrees with FEMA’s decision, will see in the letter an explanation of how to appeal the decision.
Anyone with questions may contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362(TTY 800-462-7585). Find more details about the FEMA inspection process by visiting the website To learn more about Georgia’s hurricane recovery visit

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