The Next Step After Applying for Disaster Assistance

SACRAMENTO – If you have uninsured or underinsured losses from the recent California wildfires in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou, and Sonoma counties and have registered with FEMA, the next step is the home inspection.

All inspections will be conducted by phone due to COVID-19 and the need to protect the safety and health of survivors and the FEMA workforce. Remote inspections are comparable to traditional, in-person inspections and can expedite recovery assistance, based on eligibility.

For security purposes, the inspector will verify your identity by asking a series of qualifying questions and then provide you with the first four digits of your application to complete the verification.

Expect calls from inspection teams to come from a variety of area codes. Check missed calls and voicemails frequently to ensure the inspection is arranged and completed.

Survivors with minimal damage who can live in their homes will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection when applying for FEMA assistance. Instead, they will receive a letter from FEMA explaining that they may call the FEMA Helpline to request an inspection if they find significant disaster-caused damage to their home after they applied.

The Helpline number is 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Call between 7 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Pacific, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

The deadline to register with FEMA for disaster assistance is Dec. 16, 2020.

For the latest information on wildfire recovery, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4569 and follow the FEMA Region 9 Twitter account at https://twitter.com/femaregion9.

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Alyson Hanner

Alyson Hanner joined the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) in 2020 after working nearly 20 years in the broadcast news industry. Since joining Cal OES, she has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the historic 2020 wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, she served as managing editor at local television stations in San Diego and Sacramento.

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