FEMA releases list of disaster rumors, facts, scams 

Posted: 11:51 am Sunday, September 10th, 2017

By Eric "Hollywood" Davis STAR 94.5


Hurrican Irma_families

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is trying to put rumors to rest with its Hurricane Irma Rumor Control website.

According to the website, emergency shelters are required to accommodate pets and service animals belonging to people who have been evacuated.

In 2006, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act to ensure that emergency operations rescue, care, shelter and meet the needs of household pets and service animals

Hotels and motels do not fall under the PETS Act.

Hotels must accept service animals. Individuals with access and functional needs should check with the hotel to see if accommodations can meet their needs.


With the impending storm, there’s been a high demand for fuel. Florida advises residents to only take the amount of fuel you need to get to your destination.

The Florida Emergency Operations Center reports demand has spiked five times above normal levels in some areas causing temporary outages at gas stations.

The state is working to replenish reduced stock and says the fuel supply chain remains fully intact.

Disaster Clean-Up and Inspections

Cleaning up and making temporary repairs to storm-damaged property will not disqualify you from federal disaster assistance.

Property owners should document the damage to their property with either pictures or video. Property owners should then begin to clean up and make any temporary repairs to make their homes safe.

FEMA urges owners to put health and safety first, take pictures or video of your property, make repairs to prevent further damage and to keep receipts to show inspectors.

FEMA Business Re-Entry List
According to FEMA, the agency does not create any lists that permits travel into disaster areas for businesses.
Public and business access into disaster-impacted areas is solely at the discretion of local officials.
Check with officials before attempting to enter a disaster-impacted area.


The agency says FEMA inspectors asking for personal information or charging for services  such as damage inspections or contractor repairs is a scam.

Scam artists may pose as government officials, aid workers, charitable organizations or insurance company employees.

Here are steps FEMA suggests following these steps:

  • Do not respond to texts, phone calls or personal requests asking for your personal information. The only time you should provide this information is during the initial application process for FEMA aid or when you initiate contact with the agency to follow up an application. FEMA inspectors only require verification of identity.
  • Ask for identification and don’t be afraid to hang up on cold callers.
  • Contact government agencies using information posted on their websites or in other official sources.
  • Don’t sign anything you don’t understand or contracts with blank spaces.
  • If you suspect fraud, contact the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission.