Residents and business owners in Lake County who suffered damage or losses from the recent wildfires can now register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The amendment to the presidential disaster declaration of Aug. 4, 2018, made at the request of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., now makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Lake and Shasta counties. Survivors who primarily reside in the designated counties can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Applicants will be asked for the following information:
- Social Security number
- Address of the damaged primary residence
- Description of the damage
- Information about insurance coverage
- A current contact telephone number
- An address where they can receive mail
- Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds
Disaster assistance for homeowners and renters may include grants to help pay for:
- Rental assistance
- Essential home repairs
- Uninsured and underinsured personal property losses
- Other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available for businesses of all sizes (including landlords), private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries.
FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if a survivor has registered with another disaster-relief organization, such as the American Red Cross.
FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but survivors may register even if they have insurance since some help may be available while claims are being settled.
A Disaster Recovery Center (9460 Main Street, Upper Lake) will be open daily from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., beginning August 21.