Survivors Urged to Stay in Touch with FEMA

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The deadline for Calaveras and Lake county wildfire survivors to register with FEMA has passed, but various forms of disaster assistance remain available. Survivors who registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency are urged to stay in touch with the agency.

“Even though the DRCs are closed, FEMA remains in California to work with the state and local governments to provide assistance with recovery,” said Tim Scranton, Federal Coordinating Official for this disaster. “FEMA will remain as long as needed.”

Charles Rabamad, the Deputy State Coordinating Officer added: “Recovery is ongoing, all this work could not be done without our federal, state and local partnerships. Cal OES continues to support and assist these communities in the rebuilding and redeveloping efforts.”

Applicants can track their claims and should notify FEMA of changes to their mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and if they receive insurance settlements or discover additional damages.

How to reach FEMA:

  • Go online at DisasterAssistance.gov or www.fema.gov
  • Dial the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585
  • For those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services, call 800-621-3362
  • The toll-free numbers are operated from 6 a.m. to midnight daily
  • Multilingual phone operators are available on the FEMA helpline. Choose Option 2 for Spanish and Option 3 for other languages.

Although the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are closed, the U.S. Small Business Administration will operate Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOCs) at the DRC sites in San Andreas and Middletown. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

At the DLOCs disaster loan applications, started before Nov. 23, can be finalized. The two facilities will remain open until further notice.

For more information, contact the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@SBA.gov or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339. DLOCs will be closed from Thanksgiving Day through the weekend, reopening Monday, Nov. 30.

Other services available to survivors include:

  • Crisis Counseling is a service provided through your county Mental Health Department. Services, for children and adults, help survivors deal with the emotional affects of going through a crisis. Call the Calaveras County Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 800-499-3030 (main office number 209-754-6525). The Lake County Mental Health Crisis Hotline is 800-900-2075.
  • Legal Services is provided to survivors for free through the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. Legal advice is limited to cases that will not produce a fee including assistance with insurance claims, advice on landlord/tenant problems, home repair contracts and contractors, mortgage-foreclosure problems, assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures and replacement of wills and other important legal documents. Survivors unable to pay for legal services may call 800-657-0479 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. For TTY: call 711.

For more information on California’s wildfire recovery, visit: caloes.ca.gov or fema.gov/disaster/4240 and follow us on Twitter @femaregion9 and @Cal_OES and on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMA and facebook.com/CaliforniaOES.

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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