Just like you have to beware of unlicensed and unscrupulous contractors in the wake of Hurricane Irma, you also have to beware of unsubstantiated and untrue information. Here are a few false rumors that the Federal Emergency Management Administration has heard circulating in the Keys:
• RUMOR: Houses on stilts do not qualify for FEMA Insurance. FALSE: FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program covers a variety of elevated homes. To obtain a flood insurance policy from the NFIP, you need to live in a community that participates in the NFIP. Because several factors can determine eligibility of a structure, the best way to know whether your home qualifies for coverage is to consult your flood insurance agent. Regardless of whether you have coverage under NFIP, you can still apply for FEMA disaster assistance for free at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/.
• RUMOR: FEMA is paying volunteers $700/day . FALSE: FEMA does not solicit volunteers to work on behalf of the agency, but rather hires and compensates qualified staff. In Florida, FEMA is hiring local employees to assist with disaster recovery. Go to the website www.employflorida.com to apply.
• RUMOR: FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Survivor Teams are going door-to-door handing out $500 checks. FALSE: FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Survivor Teams are going door-to-door to register survivors for disaster assistance (www.disasterassistance.gov). They offer this assistance in a variety of languages. Our Disaster Assistance Survivor Teams do not hand out checks nor do they carry cash.