Emergency management asks residents to document damage for insurance

FOX24

Fort Smith City authorities are working closely with the Sebastian County Office of Emergency Management (SCOEM), to clean up the areas of Fort Smith hit the hardest by the violent weather today, May 19.

SCOEM Deputy Director Travis Cooper said disaster assistance crews are encountering some residents who are reluctant to let clean-up crews get to work in fear that their home insurance adjuster first needs to inspect the damage in person, according to Fort Smith’s Facebook post. 

Deputy Cooper contacted a couple of local insurance adjusters to double-check, and now asks City Communications and local news media to share this information with Fort Smith residents who are suffering property damage from yesterday’s storm.

The Facebook post reads: 

SCOEM GUIDANCE

  • Residents should take photos and videos of damage to their home and property.
  • Document emergency work done to remove unsafe hazards, like trees, limbs, and debris, and to seal their home with tarps as protection from the elements.
  • Take lots of good, representative “before” and “after” pictures to make them available to your home insurance carrier.

According to the post, SCOEM is coordinating volunteer crews that have come in with heavy equipment and tools to remove large trees and such from residents’ homes.

Residents needing direct assistance from the Regional Red Cross are asked to call 855-891-7325, the post states. 

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