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How to apply for financial relief following presidential disaster declaration

Following a federal disaster declaration by President Biden on July 15, those who sustained losses during the June 25-26 storms can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Those who are hearing or speech impaired can call 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).

The assistance could include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners.

President Biden issued the presidential disaster declaration for Wayne County, including Dearborn, to bring assistance to individuals and households affected by flooding and sewer backups and who apply and qualify under the federal relief programs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be coordinating efforts to help residents directly. About 12,000 homes in Dearborn were impacted.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and Mayor John O'Reilly will be working with FEMA to present a Town Hall to provide residents with information on how to apply for financial assistance.

It is the goal of the city to make sure information is provided in Arabic as well.

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The Police Department's advice on how to avoid home repair scams

Many residents have been impacted by the recent flood and power outages. These disasters can leave your home and business in ruins. You want to get back on your feet quickly. But a disaster also lures crooked building contractors. They'll exploit the confusion and emergency conditions to try and scam you and your insurance policy. Most contractors are honest. But know the warning signs of a swindle — and how to fight back. Just as important, don't try to inflate or fake insurance claims yourself.

Follow these home repair safety tips:
• When dealing with contractors obtain two or three written repair bids, if possible. They should include all costs, what work will be done, schedule for completing the work, and guarantees.
• But... don't accept a bid just because it's the lowest. Lowball bids such as "special flood deals" and "limited time offers" could be fraudulent.
• Don't pay for repair bids. Crooked contractors may simply take your money and disappear. Most reputable contractors won't charge you simply for bidding on your repair work.
• Use established local contractors if possible. But... be careful if the contractor arrives in an unmarked vehicle, seeks your repair work door-to-door, or tries to cut costs by using materials "from another job." These contractors may be unlicensed, dishonest and untrained transients from another state. They may disappear with your money after finishing only part of the job, or not doing any work.
• Licenses. Ask to see a contractor's required state or local licenses. Also ask contractors for proof that they have liability and workers compensation insurance.
• Make sure it's a legitimate, printed document — not something scratched out on a piece of paper. Make sure you have a copy for your files. No advance payment. Don't pay a contractor in full before work begins, or before it's finished. Normally you should only pay about 20 percent or less upfront.

Contact the Dearborn Police if you believe any contactor is suspicious at 313.943.3030.

Flood assistance from a charity group offering basement cleanup help

Metro Detroit Flood Response Social Graphic website sized

Message for insurance companies and people filing sewer backup claims with their private insurance companies

On this page designed to provide information to those affected by the storms of June 25-26, 2021 and on July 16, 2021, the terms “flood” and “flooding” are repeatedly used in a generalization of what occurred. However, the use of those terms should not be a basis for private insurance companies to deny claims made by people who experienced sewer backups. The storms did create sewer backups for Dearborn households.

Residents can call 313-586-3181 to report flood damage to the City, get info on resources

Residents affected by the June 25-26 storms can contact the Dearborn Flood Response Call Center at 313-586-3181 to report flood damage to the city and to ask about resources that might be available to assist in their cleanup and recovery.

The form to report flood damage is at www.cityofdearborn.org/flood or it can be accessed by texting FLOOD to 313-635-3900. An Arabic version is also available.

Residents should be documenting damage via photographs and video, and saving receipts for all clean up and repair expenses.

The data gathered via the form will assist Dearborn with its application for federal emergency relief efforts, with the goal of bringing in federal relief dollars for households affected by the June 26 flooding. If a federal disaster is designated, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide individuals with actual federal claim forms. FEMA arrived in town on July 8 to conduct an initial assessment.

Additional resources and flood response updates are at www.cityofdearborn.org/flood.