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FEMA reps canvass in Escambia and Santa Rosa neighborhoods
FEMA representatives were canvassing neighborhoods in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties today.
It's one of the ways the agency is making sure those who need help after the floods get it.
Channel Three's Anthony Pura went door to door with a FEMA rep.
In the past three days FEMA represtatives made contact with 175 homeowners and signed up 148 of them for federal assistance
People we met with today said they were so preoccupied with cleaning up, they hadn't even thought about FEMA-- until FEMA came by their door.
It's just before 11am Tuesday morning and Mike Rood has already visited several homes along Fowler Avenue in Ensley. He is with FEMA looking for people that have had their houses damaged or property lost in the flood.
"We've left flyers in all these residences since they're not home-- they'll get the word."
When Rood finds a homeowner wanting FEMA help, he can get the person's application completed and sent to the agency in about 20 minutes.
Personal data like social security numbers, insurance and contact information-- he can take it on the spot and plug it into disasterassistance.gov-- accessed through his tablet.
"We've signed up three in 2 hours which is fantastic."
One of the people he signed up was Hugh McKinnon
McKinnon's house was spared during the flood but not his garage .Snce the storm, McKinnon's focus has been saving the items he could, and throwing out the rest.
"The front yard was flooded the backyard was flooded it came in through the garbage, about 6 to 8 inches, just ruined everything "
McKinnon estimates the damage at about 17 to 20,000 dollars. He wasn't even thinking about calling FEMA, until Rood showed up.
"We have a low income so they can help with something like that."
FEMA wants to be accessable to all flood victims. People can reach them online, by phone or at centers set up around town, but Rood says hitting the streets is still one of the most effective ways of getting help to those who need it.
"By going door to door, people without a car or with some kind of functional needs can't get to a tent we can reach them there."
We're able to access everybody, that we know that everybody has been touched, every home has been touched.
Now once you're signed up through FEMA, a FEMA inspector will contact you to look at the damage in person.
If you qualify you'll get a check or electronic transfer in a few days-- if you don't qualify you'll get a letter explaining why.