Deadline extended to file FEMA claims

FOLEY, Ala. (WALA) – If you have suffered damage from the heavy rains and flooding this spring, and haven’t filed a claim with the federal government yet, you now have more time.

Alabama emergency officials are extending the deadline to apply for help by two weeks.

The deadline is now July 15.

It had been Tuesday.

Some late applications have started coming in.

Meantime, FEMA officials are in the Mobile area this weekend, offering free advice to better protect your home from wind and flooding.

PREVENTION

Whether its flooding from the Fish River after heavy rain, or wind from a hurricane or other type of storm, you never know when severe weather will damage your home.

FEMA officials have been in our area helping victims of this spring’s destructive weather, but they’re also giving advice on making everyone’s home safer the next time severe weather hits.

Rich Boswell with FEMA said their advice included ways “to prevent things like mold and mildew, water leakage in the roof.”

For instance, you may know about cleaning mold and mildew, but what about preventing the problem?

You can use household products to do that.

Boswell said, “If you have down a layer that contains the chemical base of like bleach and water solutions, that will help prevent mold spores from growing.”

WATER RESISTANT UNDERLAYMENT

What about steps to prevent water leaking from your roof?

Boswell said, “They have what is called a water resistant underlayment that goes on the deck of wood when they’re constructed, between the wood and shingle, and it helps to prevent water from seeping in through seams.”

FEMA officials also have advice on flood-proofing homes.

Boswell said, “if you have a basement, for example, you can use sealants on your walls that will assist in keeping water from seeping through porous brick. You can build flood walls out on the property.”

HURRICANE STRAPPING

From water, to wind.

FEMA officials said you can make your house less vulnerable to the elements by using what’s called hurricane strapping, or, braces, to support the wood frame.

Boswell said, “They’re normally put on during the time of construction, but, there are certain designs that can be added even after the house has been constructed.”

CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICY

Some prevention measures don’t require elbow grease.

People may have insurance policies, but do they know what they say?

Robin Smith with FEMA said people should “call their insurance company and go over, in detail, what it is that their insurance will cover, what will be replaced.”

FEMA HOTLINE

If you suffered damage during the bad weather this spring and haven’t filed a claim, call the FEMA hotline at 1-800-621-3362.

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