One Week Left to Register for Disaster Assistance/Low-Interest Loans

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Survivors of the October 2017 wildfires have one week left to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance and to apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The deadline for both is Dec. 11, 2017 for those with losses.

Residents of Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba counties who suffered damage may be eligible for federal grants, which do not have to be repaid. Grants can help cover disaster-related expenses, including rent, essential home repairs and other disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

Applicants can apply for disaster assistance by going online at, by using the FEMA app on a smart phone or by calling 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

In-person registration assistance is available at the Local Assistance Center in Napa County or at one of the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Mendocino, Napa or Sonoma counties. To find the closest center, go online at or text 43362 with the message DRC and the resident’s ZIP code. Standard message and data rates apply.

If an applicant’s contact information changes, let FEMA know as the agency may need to get in touch.

Business owners and nonprofits located in the designated counties may qualify for up to $2 million in low-interest SBA disaster loans both for physical and economic damage. Homeowners may qualify for up to $200,000 for home damage. Homeowners and renters can apply for up to $40,000 to replace personal property. Call 800-659-2955 or visit for more information.

Registrants who are contacted by SBA should complete and return the application even if they don’t want a loan. Application information can be considered to determine eligibility for other disaster assistance, such as reimbursement for personal property, medical, storage and vehicles.

Those who receive a letter from FEMA saying they are not eligible for disaster assistance should contact FEMA with questions or if they need assistance to appeal the decision.


Monica Vargas

Monica is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She has been involved in the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Valley Fire, Butte Fire, historic drought, Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident and 2017 winter storms. She previously served Cal OES as an analyst in international affairs, technology operations and executive staff support.

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