Folks looking to confirm that a knock on the door from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is legitimate should keep a couple of things in mind, according to a spokesperson.
Members of the agency's community relations team have been going door-to-door in Putnam, as well as many of the surrounding counties, FEMA spokesperson Gary Weidner said Friday morning.
They are tasked with informing residents, who may be in need of damage assistance after Hurricane Sandy, about the application process. Representatives carry flyers and official badges, Weidner told Patch.
But spontaneous visits are not the protocol for other FEMA officials. Inspectors should always call first to make an appointment, rather than just show up at a home, according to Weidner. If that's not the case, the resident would be wise to request credentials—and ask why a phone call never transpired.
"If it's at all suspicious, or they don't have credentials, call local law enforcement," Weidner said. "Better safe than sorry. People who have had damage have been traumatized enough."
Earlier this week Gov. Andrew Cuomo added Putnam to the list of disaster areas—which also includes Orange, Rockland, Westchester and Ulster counties—in New York. Weidner said community relations folk in those counties have been following the same procedures.