Amid Florida Exodus, FEMA Busts Some Myths

Misinformation is flying about everything from pets to home inspections
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2017 8:55 AM CDT
Amid Florida Exodus, FEMA Busts Some Myths
Luis Garcia, right, packs a car that he and five other members of his extended family will use to evacuate north from their home in Miami Beach, Fla, Friday.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Given that Florida is in the midst of a massive evacuation ahead of Hurricane Irma, it's not surprising that false rumors and misinformation are flying. FEMA has heard so many it is clearing up several, including:

  • Pets: Yes, emergency shelters must accept pets and service animals of evacuees. No, hotels are not required to accept pets of evacuees.
  • Fuel: Yes, demand is high, about five times greater than normal in places, resulting in tapped-out gas stations. But the supply chain remains intact, and the state is working to replenish fuel stocks. Evacuees are urged to take only as much fuel as they need to get to safety.

  • Clean-up: No, you don't have to leave plywood, damaged carpet and sheetrock, etc., in place until a FEMA official or insurance adjuster takes a look. "Cleaning up and making temporary repairs to your storm-damaged property will not disqualify you from federal disaster assistance."
  • Scams: Be wary of con artists posing as FEMA inspectors or insurance officials. Don't provide personal information to cold callers and always ask for ID. If, for example, a supposed FEMA inspector asks for a fee to set up an inspection, you're getting fleeced.
(Read more Hurricane Irma stories.)

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