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What to expect from a FEMA home inspection in New Mexico

July 8, 2024

Inspection steps for FEMA assistance

After New Mexico residents apply for FEMA assistance, a home inspection may be necessary to determine whether the home is safe, sanitary, and livable, as reported by FEMA.

Inspectors will contact applicants to schedule an appointment by calling or texting the phone number listed on the FEMA application.

These communications might come from unfamiliar phone numbers, so it is important for applicants to respond to facilitate the application process.

To expedite the inspection process, FEMA advises applicants to ensure their home or mailbox number is clearly visible from the road.

Applicants should keep their appointments or notify the inspector if rescheduling is needed.

If applicants have evacuated and cannot return for the inspection, they can authorize another adult to act as their agent and be present during the inspection.

It is also crucial for applicants to be reachable and update FEMA if their contact information changes.

Inspector’s role and evaluation criteria

Inspectors will make a minimum of three attempts to contact the applicant, calling at different times on different days.

The inspectors do not decide eligibility for assistance.

Instead, the information gathered during the inspection is one of several criteria FEMA uses to determine eligibility for federal assistance.

The housing inspector will assess the structural soundness of the home, both inside and outside.

They will check if the electrical, gas, heat, plumbing, and sewer/septic systems are in working order and ensure the home is safe to live in and can be entered and exited safely.

All FEMA representatives have official identification and will show it to the applicant.

For security reasons, federal identification cannot be photographed.

Inspectors will never ask for, or accept, money as their service is free.

Post-inspection process and applicant responsibilities

A typical home inspection takes about 45 minutes to complete.

After the inspection, applicants should allow seven to ten days for processing.

If applicants have questions about the status of their application, they can call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center.

Residents should not be concerned if an inspector is seen in their neighborhood but does not visit every home.

Inspectors follow schedules and can only visit the houses listed for that day.

Important information for applicants

During the inspection, applicants should inform the inspector about other property losses or disaster-related needs, such as transportation, medical or dental care, or tools needed for a trade and educational materials.

This allows the inspector to relay the information to FEMA.

Applicants are also advised to be cooperative and responsive to ensure a smooth inspection process.

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