After Applying for FEMA Assistance, it’s Important to Keep in Touch

Immediately after a disaster, keeping in touch with family is important. It’s also important to keep in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after you have registered for disaster assistance.

Many survivors of the November wildfires in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties who were displaced are transitioning from damaged or destroyed homes to hotels and rentals. If you change your address, telephone number, bank account or insurance information, update that information with FEMA immediately.

Without accurate contact information on file with FEMA, you could miss important correspondence or telephone calls. Inaccurate banking information could lead to your direct-deposit grants being delayed. If you need to make any updates to your information, call FEMA at 800-621-3362.

If your fire-damaged home is inaccessible because of road closures, evacuation orders, or debris, advise FEMA once your house becomes available for inspection by a FEMA-contracted housing inspector.

If you suffered damage or loss from the wildfires and have not yet applied for FEMA disaster assistance, you should register right away.

There are three ways you can apply:

  • Online, visit DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585), 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST daily. Multilingual operators are available.
  • Visit a FEMA/Cal OES Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) near you. DRCs are accessible facilities you can visit to learn more about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs. You may also ask questions about your case. Use the DRC Locator to find locations. Visit egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator .

Robb Mayberry

Robb Mayberry is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He has assisted in the response and recovery efforts with some of California’s worst disasters, including the San Refugio Oil Spill, the Valley and Butte Wildfires, Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Erskine Fire, and the Winters Storms of 2017. Prior to public service, he spent 25 years managing the public and media relations for some of Northern California’s largest healthcare organizations.

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