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Wildfire Survivors Should Call FEMA Helpline or Visit DisasterAssistance.gov by Dec. 16

SACRAMENTO – Individuals and households with losses due to the wildfires in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou and Sonoma counties have just five days left to register for federal aid.

These counties are included in federal Disaster 4569, declared initially Oct. 16 for seven counties and expanded later. The deadline is Dec. 16 to apply for assistance from FEMA or low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

FEMA monetary awards help eligible survivors pay for rent, home repair/replacement and many other serious disaster-related needs, including replacement or repair of vehicles, funeral expenses, medical or dental expenses and miscellaneous other costs. To be reimbursed by FEMA, survivors should photograph damage and save repair receipts.

Survivors should contact their insurers and file a claim for the disaster-caused damage before they register with FEMA. Survivors with insurance should register with FEMA even when they aren’t yet certain whether they will be eligible.

FEMA may be able to help with costs that insurance doesn’t cover. The agency can determine eligibility once an applicant’s insurance claim is settled, but there won’t be any FEMA reimbursement for those who fail to register by the Dec. 16 deadline. FEMA cannot pay insurance deductibles.

Survivors can register with FEMA for federal aid in one of three ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov;
  • By downloading the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet; or
  • By calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. PST. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, should provide FEMA with the specific number assigned to that service when they register.

The helpline staff can also answer questions about applications already submitted.

To register you will need the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Insurance policy information
  • Address of the damaged primary dwelling
  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number of your checking or savings account (for direct transfer of funds to your bank account)

After you register, FEMA will email you a temporary PIN that you can use to create an account at DisasterAssistance.gov. The account will enable you to check the status of your application, view messages from FEMA, update your personal information and upload documents FEMA may need to determine your eligibility for grants.

If you are unable to upload your documents, mail them to FEMA at P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville MD 20782-8055 or fax them to 800-827-8112.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Dec. 16 is also the deadline to apply for a disaster loan from the SBA. Grants from FEMA are meant to give eligible survivors a start on their road to recovery. The primary source of recovery funding for many, however, is a loan from the SBA, which makes disaster loans to individuals and businesses of all sizes.

Survivors can find out more and apply for a loan at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/. For additional assistance, contact the SBA’s Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center. Customer service representatives are available to assist individuals and business owners, answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete their electronic loan application. The Virtual DLOC is open 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST daily. Call 800-659-2955 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov.

For the latest information on wildfire recovery, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4569 and follow the FEMA Region 9 Twitter account at https://twitter.com/femaregion9.

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money 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.

For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. TTY users may also call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA at SBA.gov/disaster

 

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