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California Wildfires (DR-4344)

Incident Period: October 08, 2017 - October 31, 2017
Major Disaster Declaration declared on October 10, 2017

Individual Assistance Applications
Approved: 4,023

Total Individual & Households Program
Dollars Approved: $11,129,216.25

Designated Counties (Individual Assistance):

Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma, Yuba

Apply for Assistance

FEMA offers Individual Assistance after a disaster to help begin your recovery. Our Individual Assistance page offers you a look at the steps and options available to you.

Registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance. If you are unable to access the internet, you can also call at 1-800-621-3362.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), volunteer groups and other agencies are at Disaster Recovery Centers to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. They can also help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance.

Sonoma County (DRC)
Hanna Boys Center
17000 Arnold Drive, Sonoma

Dates/Hours:
Oct. 17 -  Nov. 16
9a-7p

The State of California has also set up Local Assistance Centers in areas near you.

Lake County (DRC)
Clearlake Senior Community Center
3245 Bowers Ave, Clearlake

Dates/Hours: 
Oct. 17 - Oct. 25
9a-7p

Mendocino County (DRC)
Mendocino College
1000 Hensley Creek Road,
Building 6220
Mendocino County

Dates/Hours:
Oct. 17 - Oct. 30
9a-7p

Napa County
2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive 
Building A, Napa

Dates/Hours:
Oct. 16 - Nov. 30 9a-7p M-F/10a-5p Sat-Sun

Sonoma County
Press Democrat Building
427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

Dates/Hours:
Oct. 14 - TBD
9a-7p

Tri-County (Butte, Nevada, and Yuba Counties) DRC
Yuba County Government Center
915 8th Street
Marysville

Dates/Hours:
Oct.21 - Nov.20
10a-8p

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services provides up-to-date information on the response here.

 

Housing

FEMA, Cal OES and partner agencies are working together to review all available housing options to meet the temporary/short-term and permanent/long-term housing needs of those affected by the wildfires. 

Applicants may register for FEMA assistance and your registration will be reviewed for all housing options offered by FEMA and Small Business Administration homeowner, renter, business, and nonprofit loans. 

We understand there is no one-size-fits-all housing solution. Eligible applicants will be identified and contacted by FEMA directly to discuss available options under the direct housing program. We also want to encourage survivors to actively seek their own personal housing solution that will best suit their recovery needs.

In addition, local government officials, community-led organizations, and partner agencies are working together to help locate and secure affordable housing which may be found on local and county government websites.


How do I apply for housing?

Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
 

I have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.

Survivors who have insurance must contact their insurance company and file a claim. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance or other benefits. However, FEMA may be able to help survivors with uninsured or underinsured losses or if their insurance settlement is delayed. Applicants should notify FEMA of their situation and provide insurance company documentation.
 

I was referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

If prompted, homeowners and renters should apply to the SBA, even if they are not sure they will need or want a loan. Applicants not approved for an SBA loan may be referred back to FEMA for possible additional grants.

I was approved for housing, now what?

FEMA assistance may be available for eligible applicants in the form of grants to help pay for temporary housing, such as renting a place to live temporarily, as well as home repair or replacement.  This may include renting an apartment, house, travel trailer or staying at a hotel, bed and breakfast or Airbnb.

  • Applicants who have been notified as being eligible for Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) may stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited period of time and have the cost of the room and lodging taxes covered by FEMA.


    For those who are eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund, through direct payments to participating hotels/ motels, the use of hotels/motels as transitional shelters.  The applicant is responsible for all other costs associated with lodging and amenities, including, but not limited to incidental room charges or amenities, such as telephone, room service, food, etc.
     

  • Uninsured lodging expenses may be eligible for reimbursement under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP). Displaced survivors who were already staying in hotels are encouraged to register with FEMA and submit their lodging receipts to FEMA. Receipts may be uploaded at DisasterAssistance.gov. Survivors who registered and did not submit receipts may contact FEMA for guidance in submitting documentation.
     
  • Options may include direct housing, such as manufactured housing units, travel trailers and direct leasing options. Potentially eligible applicants will be identified and contacted by FEMA directly to discuss available options under the direct housing program.
     

Visit Us at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC)

Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are open to provide residents impacted by the California wildfires with local, state and federal disaster resources. DRCs are operated by the State of California and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in partnership with other federal, state and local agencies. 

Survivors can talk with disaster recovery center personnel about their challenges recovering from wildfire damage, get started on applying for SBA low-interest disaster loans, receive helpful recovery information and discuss other issues of concern. However, it is not necessary to visit a DRC to receive FEMA assistance.

Survivors are encouraged to register with FEMA before visiting a disaster recovery center if possible. Homeowners, renters and business owners in of any of the designated counties for individual assistance – Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba – can seek help at any DRC.

  • The quickest way to apply for federal assistance is online at DisasterAssistance.gov or through the FEMA mobile app.
  • Survivors may also apply by phone at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). Because of high demand, lines may be busy. Please be patient, and try calling in the morning or evening when call volume may be lower.
  • The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week.
  • Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages.

Locations:

 find a disaster recovery center. Visit FEMA.gov/DRC. Install the FEMA App. Meet one-on-one with FEMA staff at a recovery center or call us at 800-621-3362 (711 or Video Relay Service) and TTY 800-621-3362.
<p>This graphic explains two ways survivors can look up disaster recovery center locations in their area.</p>

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Clearlake Senior Community Center
3245 Bowers Ave
Clearlake, CA

Hours of operation for the center are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Sonoma County

Hanna Boys Center
17000 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476

Hours of operation for the center are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Tri-County (Butte, Nevada, and Yuba Counties)
Yuba County Government Center
915 8th Street
Marysville

Hours of operation for the center are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. 


Applicants should have the following information on hand:

  • Social Security number.
  • Address of the damaged primary residence.
  • Description of the damage.
  • Information about insurance coverage.
  • A current contact telephone number.
  • An address where they can receive mail.
  • Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.

As more centers open, survivors may locate a center near them at fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. That information is also available on the FEMA mobile app. Survivors may register at any open DRC, even out of state.

 

Beware of Scams and Fraudulent Phone Calls

State and federal recovery officials urge California residents to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud from scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals who may try to prey on vulnerable survivors of the October wildfires.

Common post-disaster fraud practices include:

  • Fake offers of state or federal aid
    • Beware of anyone claiming to be from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the state visits, calls or emails asking for an applicant’s Social Security number, bank account number or other sensitive information.
    • Avoid scam artists who promise a disaster grant and ask for cash deposits or advance payments in full.
    • Know that federal workers do not solicit or accept money. FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) staff never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections or help in filling out applications. Do not give out information and report people claiming to be government workers to local police.
    • Provide your Social Security number and banking information only when registering for FEMA assistance, either by calling 800-621-3362, TTY 800-462-7585, or going online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or the smart phone FEMA App. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
       
  • Phony housing inspectors

    Owners/applicants may be especially vulnerable to phony housing inspectors claiming to represent FEMA or SBA. An applicant should always:
    • Ask to see the inspector’s identification badge. All federal employees and contractors carry official, laminated photo identification.
    • Inspectors also have each applicant’s nine-digit registration number.
    • FEMA inspectors never require banking information.

It is important to note that FEMA housing inspectors verify damage, but do not hire or endorse specific contractors to fix homes or recommend repairs.  They do not determine your eligibility for assistance.

  • Fraudulent building contractors

    When hiring a contractor, be sure to:
    • Use licensed local contractors backed by reliable references.
    • Demand that contractors carry general liability insurance and worker’s compensation.
  • Bogus pleas for post-disaster donations

    Unscrupulous solicitors may play on the sympathy for disaster survivors. Disaster aid solicitations may arrive by phone, email, letter or face-to-face visits. Verify legitimate solicitation:
    • Ask for the charity’s exact name, street address, phone number, and Web address, then call the charity directly and confirm that the person asking for funds is an employee or volunteer.
    • Don’t pay with cash.
    • Request a receipt with the charity’s name, street address, phone number and Web address (if applicable).
       

Anyone with knowledge of fraud, waste or abuse may call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccompliantassistant.gov. You may also send an email to DHSOIGHotline@dhs.gov.

I tried to apply, but the system said I have already applied, what should I do?

You may go to the closest Local Assistance Center or Disaster Recovery Center for assistance or contact our Helpline at 1-800-621-3362.  Be prepared to verify your identity with a valid government ID, voter registration card, or social security card.

 

Questions and Answers

I tried to apply, but the system said I have already applies, what should I do?

You may go to the closest Local Assistance Center or Disaster Recovery Center for assistance or contact our Helpline at 1-800-621-3362.  Be prepared to verify your identity with a valid government ID, voter registration card, or social security card.

How do I apply for housing?

Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

I have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.

Survivors who have insurance must contact their insurance company and file a claim. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance or other benefits. However, FEMA may be able to help survivors with uninsured or underinsured losses or if their insurance settlement is delayed. Applicants should notify FEMA of their situation and provide insurance company documentation.

I was referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

If prompted, homeowners and renters should apply to the SBA, even if they are not sure they will need or want a loan. Applicants not approved for an SBA loan may be referred back to FEMA for possible additional grants.

I was approved for housing, now what?

FEMA assistance may be available for eligible applicants in the form of grants to help pay for temporary housing, such as renting a place to live temporarily, as well as home repair or replacement.  This may include renting an apartment, house, travel trailer or staying at a hotel, bed and breakfast or Airbnb.

  • Applicants who have been notified as being eligible for Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) may stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited period of time and have the cost of the room and lodging taxes covered by FEMA.

    For those who are eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund, through direct payments to participating hotels/ motels, the use of hotels/motels as transitional shelters.  The applicant is responsible for all other costs associated with lodging and amenities, including, but not limited to incidental room charges or amenities, such as telephone, room service, food, etc.
  • Uninsured lodging expenses may be eligible for reimbursement under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP). Displaced survivors who were already staying in hotels are encouraged to register with FEMA and submit their lodging receipts to FEMA. Receipts may be uploaded at DisasterAssistance.gov. Survivors who registered and did not submit receipts may contact FEMA for guidance in submitting documentation.
  • Options may include direct housing, such as manufactured housing units, travel trailers and direct leasing options. Potentially eligible applicants will be identified and contacted by FEMA directly to discuss available options under the direct housing program.

You may search for other general frequently asked questions at fema.gov/faq.

Financial Assistance

Individual Assistance - Dollars Approved

$11,129,216.25

Total Individual & Households Program (IHP) - Dollars Approved*

$7,198,320.42

Total Housing Assistance (HA) - Dollars Approved*

$3,930,895.83

Total Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - Dollars Approved*

4,023

Total Individual Assistance (IA) - Applications Approved*

Public Assistance - Dollars Approved

If and when public assistance obligated dollar information is available for this disaster, it will be displayed here. Information is updated every 24 hours.

* Dollars Approved: Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

Learn more about FEMA Disaster definitions. Last Updated: 2017-11-17 17:20

Related Links

Last Updated: 2017-11-17 17:20