SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Individuals and business owners in Napa and Solano counties who had damages or losses as a result of the South Napa Earthquake have one week left to register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Officials with FEMA and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) urge anyone who still needs help to register before the deadline – Dec. 29, 2014.
After serving more than 2,700 homeowners, renters and business owners who had damages from the South Napa Earthquake, FEMA’s presence at the Napa Earthquake Local Assistance Center at 301 1st St. in Napa will conclude at 6 p.m. on Mon., Dec. 29. But help is still available in person, online and over the phone.
Until then, the Local Assistance Center will operate on its existing schedule: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday. In observance of Christmas, however, the center will also be closed Dec. 24-26.
Disaster assistance includes grants for homeowners and renters to help pay for rent, essential home repairs and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other sources.
FEMA offers three ways to register for disaster assistance: log on to DisasterAssistance.gov, screen tap m.fema.gov on a smartphone or tablet, or call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. People who use 711-Relay or VRS may call 800-621-3362.
Phone lines remain open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (PST) seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual phone operators are available in 93 various languages to take registrations, answer questions about disaster assistance, or check the status of an application. Choose Option 2 for Spanish and Option 3 for other languages.
Low-interest disaster loans are also available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
For more information about disaster loans, applicants may call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or (TTY) 800-877-8339, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela to file an electronic SBA loan application.
To be eligible for federal disaster assistance, at least one member of a household must be a U.S. citizen, Qualified Alien or non-citizen national with a Social Security number. Disaster assistance may be available to a household if a parent or guardian applies on behalf of a minor child who is a U.S. citizen or a Qualified Alien. FEMA will only need to know the immigration status and Social Security number of the child.
Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, medical waiver programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Social Security Disability Insurance.
For unmet disaster-related needs, the United Way operates 2-1-1 that covers Napa and Solano Counties. Available 24/7 in 150 languages, the Bay Area 211 helpline connects callers with hundreds of programs to help people find food, housing, healthcare, senior services, childcare, legal aid and more.