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FEMA launches rumor control page in light of hurricanes

10 Septembre 2017

The last thing the almost 5.6 million Floridians ordered to evacuate their homes should have to worry about is whether or not to trust information from FEMA. However, reports that hotels are required to do the same are false.

For instance, there's a section devoted to pets in shelters and hotels.

There are reports there is a high demand for fuel in Florida. The fuel supply chain remains "fully intact", FEMA said.

As evacuations take place, the State of Florida advises residents to only take the amount of fuel that you need to get your destination.

There may be reports that disaster survivors should not remove flood-damaged sheetrock, flooring, carpet, etc. until the house is assessed by FEMA or insurance adjusters.

FEMA has created a Hurricane Irma Rumor Control web page to help you separate fact from fiction. Cleaning up or making temporary repairs to your property will not disqualify you from federal disaster assistance. Also, keep your receipts.

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FEMA warns there may be fraudulent FEMA inspectors asking for personal information or charging for services for repairs and inspections. Never respond to texts or phone calls seeking personal information. FEMA will ask for that information only if you contact the agency or fill out an application for aid. FEMA inspectors only require verification of identity.

Ask for identification and don't be afraid to hang up on cold callers.

Don't sign anything you don't understand or contracts with blank spaces.

The agency recommends hurricane victims follow steps in order to avoid being duped by scam artists, and recommends Americans contact the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 if they suspect fraud.

There may be rumors that FEMA has a list of businesses permitted to travel into disaster areas to do business. That is false, according to the website.

No list reportedly exists. Public and business access into disaster areas is up to local officials, FEMA says, they should check with local officials.

FEMA launches rumor control page in light of hurricanes