MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — Renters and homeowners in the 12 counties eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance due to the severe storms and flooding that took place in February and March now have an additional 45 days, until July 20, 2023, to apply for FEMA assistance. The previous deadline was Monday, June 5. The eligible counties include Butte, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, Tulare and Tuolumne.
FEMA disaster assistance cannot return you to your pre-disaster situation. It is meant to help you into a safe, secure and sanitary situation. If your home is damaged, you may either receive funds to aid with repair or if it’s unlivable, you may receive rental assistance for temporary housing. FEMA’s Individuals and Households Assistance Program may also provide funds to replace damaged clothing, furniture, or other contents of your home, not covered by insurance.
As of June 2, 2023, more than $33.5 million in federal assistance has been approved for survivors of the designated counties. This total includes:
- $14,877,340 FEMA assistance approved for individuals and households
- $13,068,169 for housing assistance
- $1,809,170 for approved for Other Needs Assistance
- $18,722,200 SBA disaster loans was approved for homeowners, renters and businesses.
There Are Three Ways to Apply for FEMA
If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Helpline operators are available from 4:o0 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
For an accessible video on how to apply, please click here.
If FEMA refers you to SBA, you must apply with SBA before you can be considered for certain FEMA grant money, such as reimbursement for damaged personal property, transportation assistance and Group Flood Insurance Policy (GFIP).
Residents are not obligated to take out a loan if they are approved, but a failure to return the application may disqualify them from possible FEMA assistance. Long-term, low-interest disaster loans for businesses, nonprofits, homeowners and renters may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other sources.
For the latest information on California’s recovery from the severe winter storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides, visit FEMA.gov/disaster/4699.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency or economic status. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call the Civil Rights Resource line at 833-285-7448.
Recently, U.S. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced a policy change granting 12 months of no payments and 0% interest. This pertains to all disaster loans approved in response to disasters declared on or after September 21, 2022, through September 30, 2023. This policy change will benefit disaster survivors and help them to decrease the overall cost of recovery by reducing the amount of accrued interest they must repay.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of funds for the long -term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private, nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters, fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications by clicking here.
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or e-mail email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services.
Check out this super-short video from FEMA on flood preparedness!