Where We Stand 100 Days into Recovery from October Wildfires

It has been 100 days since the devastating October wildfires in Northern California and Orange County. As of close of business January 16, FEMA and the State have provided the following to survivors:

  • 4,349 households have been deemed eligible for FEMA individual
  • FEMA has approved more than $14.3 million in Individuals and Households Program
    • $8.8 million for Housing
    • $5.5 million in Other Needs
  • 184 applicants (360 individuals) are living in a direct housing options: manufactured housing units, recreational vehicles or in directly leased units.
  • Eight joint Local Assistance Centers and the Disaster Recovery Centers were set up to provide face-to-face disaster assistance for 16,653 disaster survivors.

The collection of household hazardous waste has been completed in seven Northern California counties. Removal of fire and ash debris is complete in Butte, Nevada and Yuba counties and near completion in Lake County. Efforts are ongoing in Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties and the mission is expected to be complete by early March. So far, more than 915,000 tons of debris has been removed, which is more than half of all expected fire debris.

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available for businesses of all sizes, certain nonprofits, homeowners and renters. As of close of business Jan. 16, SBA:

  • Approved 927 loan applications from homeowners and 110 applications for business
  • Approved loans total more than $132.5

Survivors are advised to stay in touch via the FEMA Helpline at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by phone at 800-621-3362.  TTY users should call 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. These toll-free numbers operate 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time, seven days a week, and are staffed by operators ready to assist survivors in their languages.

Registrants whose information changes are strongly urged to report the changes to FEMA.

Voluntary Agency Liaisons are working in each county assisting local jurisdictions, nonprofits and community stakeholders to develop and support Long Term Recovery Groups.

For more information on California’s recovery, visit WildfireRecovery.org or  fema.gov/disaster/4344,   Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion9 and the Cal OES website,  caloes.ca.gov/ .

Robb Mayberry

Robb Mayberry is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He has assisted in the response and recovery efforts with some of California’s worst disasters, including the San Refugio Oil Spill, the Valley and Butte Wildfires, Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Erskine Fire, and the Winters Storms of 2017. Prior to public service, he spent 25 years managing the public and media relations for some of Northern California’s largest healthcare organizations.

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