FEMA urges Louisiana flood victims not to wait to begin repairs _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Flood waters inundate a Covington neighborhood Saturday, March 12, 2016.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging Louisiana residents whose homes were damaged during recent floods not to wait for a FEMA inspector before beginning to clean up and conduct repairs, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Those with flooded property should take photographs of any damage and keep receipts for any repair work done, FEMA spokeswoman Deanna Frazier said. Insurance companies may require both, and FEMA may require receipts, she said.

FEMA inspectors can verify damages after repairs have begun. Waiting can have adverse effects such as allowing mold to grow, which can lead to health problems, Frazier said.

Flood victims are encouraged to register with FEMA as quickly as possible. Only one registration per household is allowed.

Individuals can register at disasterassistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362. Registering for 211 or D-SNAP benefits does not also automatically register individuals with FEMA.