Federal Disaster Assistance Registration Deadline Draws Near

Only one week remains to register for federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). More than 26,000 households have applied for assistance, but time is running out for survivors of the wildfires in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties who have not yet done so.

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 is the last day to register.

Homeowners, renters and small-business owners must sign-up by Jan. 31 to be considered for eligibility in any of several federal disaster assistance programs. Survivors should apply to FEMA even if they have insurance. Disaster assistance often provides benefits not covered by insurance.

Those impacted by the fires are encouraged to file insurance claims for damages to their homes, cars and businesses before they apply for FEMA assistance. They can register with FEMA online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY  800-462-7585). Multi-lingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (PST)

Survivors can also register at any Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) jointly operated by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and FEMA.

DRCs are located at:

Chico Mall

(Former Sears Store)

1982 E. 20th St.

Chico, CA 95928

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday thru Saturday

Closed Sunday

Oroville Store Front

2140 Feather River Blvd.

Oroville, CA 95965

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday thru Saturday

Closed Sunday


Creative Learning Center

1080 Ewald Ct.

Paradise, CA 95969

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday thru Saturday

Closed Sunday


Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

30440 Agoura Rd.

Agoura Hills, CA 92362

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday thru Saturday

Closed Sunday


The Jan. 31 deadline also applies to applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA is the federal government’s primary source of funding 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.

FEMA’s Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance grants for medical, dental, and funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants referred to SBA must complete and submit an SBA loan application to be considered for additional forms of disaster assistance. Applicants who do not qualify for an SBA loan may be referred back to FEMA and may be eligible to receive Other Needs Assistance grants for these items.

The SBA Disaster Customer Service Center’s toll-free number is 800-659-2955. Help is also available by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or by visiting www.sba.gov. Survivors may apply online at SBA’s secure website: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

RJ Ghilarducci

RJ Ghilarducci is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). He joined the OES team to aid in 2018's Camp, Woolsey, Hill, and Holy Fire recoveries. He previously served on Governor Gavin Newsom's campaign, worked as a newspaper reporter, and coached Division 1 college football.

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