Major Disaster Declaration declared on November 12, 2018
Individual Assistance Applications
Total Individual & Households Program
Dollars Approved: $85,661,057.86
Total Public Assistance Grants
Dollars Obligated: $9,282,226.74
Designated Counties (Individual Assistance):Butte, Los Angeles, Ventura
- Visit our Rumor Control page for a list of identified rumors and help us combat misinformation.
How to Apply for Assistance
Survivors in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties with disaster-related losses can apply for disaster assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800- 621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) anytime from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time (PST) seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.
Disaster assistance is not a substitute for an insurance payout. It can help you make essential repairs to your home to make it safe, sanitary, functional and accessible.
FEMA disaster assistance cannot make you whole but may help you begin the recovery process.
Remember: FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
You could be eligible for rental assistance or home repairs if the home you live in for more than half of the year was damaged and is:
- Unsafe to stay in (master bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom damaged)
- Does not have power or water
- You cannot get to it safely
You may also be eligible for other forms of assistance, fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance
Contact FEMA again if you have any updates or changes to your application for disaster assistance, including access to your primary home, utility service, and current location. Visit disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 to update your application.
PLEASE NOTE: Registration for federal assistance was Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.
Small Business Administration
Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans are the primary source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation. The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.
Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury. While homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence, and homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
SBA offers low-interest working capital loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, to small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.
Apply online using SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or in person at any Disaster Recovery Center. For additional information about the SBA, call 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.
Disaster Loan Outreach Center
SBA has opened a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) in Chico to meet with business owners and residents to answer their questions, explain SBA’s disaster loan program, and close their approved disaster loans.
The SBA Disaster Customer Service Center’s toll-free number is 800-659-2955. Help is also available by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.sba.gov. Survivors may apply online at SBA's secure website: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
Those impacted by the fires can get assistance by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Multi-lingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (PDT)
St. John's DLOC
Housing Options for Wildfires Survivors
FEMA and non-profit recovery organizations are working diligently to assist individuals and families impacted by the recent wildfires have a safe place to stay while they wait to return to evacuated areas or begin their recovery if their home was burned. Housing solutions may be grouped into emergency, intermediate and long-term options, and will vary by community and household.
Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA)
- Available for survivors in Butte County.
- TSA provides short-term lodging assistance for evacuees who are not able to return home for an extended or indeterminate period following a disaster because their communities are either uninhabitable or inaccessible due to disaster-related damages.
- Applicants who have been notified as being eligible for 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 the participating locations. 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.
- Participating locations are listed at femaevachotels.com. Survivors authorized to use TSA should contact establishments to check on room availability.
Critical Needs Assistance (CNA)
- Available for survivors in Butte County in the fixed amount of $500 in accelerated disaster assistance.
- CNA is provided to eligible individuals and households that may be used for life-savings and/or life-sustaining items such as, but not limited to, water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, personal hygiene times, and fuel for transportation.
- Expedited Rental Assistance may be available for uninsured survivors in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Survivors in those counties who are unable to return to their home or have destroyed homes can receive up to one month’s rental assistance at the fair market rate.
- 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.
- Uninsured lodging expenses may be eligible for reimbursement under the Individuals and Households Program. Displaced survivors who were already staying in hotels are encouraged to register with FEMA and submit their lodging receipts. Receipts may be uploaded at disasterassistance.gov. Survivors who registered and did not submit receipts may contact FEMA for guidance in submitting documentation.
Low-Interest Disaster Loans
- Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters and most nonprofit organizations.
- Homeowners and renters should apply to the SBA, even if they are not sure they will need or want a loan. If applicants are referred, failure to complete and return a loan application may stall their federal disaster assistance application. If not approved for an SBA loan, individuals and households may be referred back to FEMA for possible additional grants.
- FEMA, Cal OES and partner agencies have formed a State-lead Joint Housing Task Force to review all available housing options for temporary/short-term and permanent/long-term housing needs of those affected by the wildfires. These may include:
- Direct leasing of available apartments and condominiums that are not generally available to survivors;
- The placement of manufactured homes and recreational vehicles in existing commercial parks;
- The placement of manufactured homes and recreational vehicles on private property where codes, conditions and support infrastructure are available.
- Direct Housing Assistance Process:
- Intermediate housing assistance is available for eligible applicants through insurance, FEMA disaster assistance and state supplemental assistance.
- Intermediate housing that suits the needs of individual applicants is determined through one-on-one interviews with homeowners and renters whose damage or losses meet certain criteria. FEMA is contacting applicants directly to discuss available options under the direct housing program.
- These options, including rental assistance, are available for up to 18 months, based on continuing survivor needs and eligibility criteria.
- Housing considerations will incorporate the unique needs of the population affected by the Camp Fire, which includes many seniors and people with access and functional needs.
- Right now, we are focused on identifying the best solutions for the community. These include the use of recreational vehicles and manufactured housing units.
- FEMA is working with owners and managers of locations that have existing sites available to place Recreational Vehicles or Manufactured Housing Units, and assessing and determining the feasibility of developing additional sites.
- FEMA determines site feasibility by:
- Ensuring housing is not placed in high risk flood zones and debris flows areas.
- Ensuring there is a capability to provide adequate water distribution
- Ensuring there is a capability to provide for adequate sewer removal
- Ensuring sites have adequate electrical hookup capability
- Sites conform with state, county and local development codes
- Other factors that are taken into consideration are community wrap around services such as:
- Access to fire, medical and police services
- School access for children
- Availability of social services
- Access to public transportation
- The impact a housing site will have on a community
- FEMA determines site feasibility by:
- FEMA is working with owners and managers of locations that have existing sites available to place Recreational Vehicles or Manufactured Housing Units, and assessing and determining the feasibility of developing additional sites.
- FEMA has also implemented the Multifamily Lease and Repair Program. This form of direct temporary housing assistance allows FEMA to repair or make improvements to existing multifamily housing units. (ex. Apartments)
What Survivors Can Do Now: Contact Your Insurance Company and Apply for Disaster Assistance
- Survivors who have insurance should contact their insurance company and then register with FEMA.
- 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.
- Survivors in the following California counties: Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura, who were affected by the recent wildfires are encouraged to register for disaster assistance with FEMA if they haven’t already. Once registered, households may qualify for assistance through the joint federal/state Individuals and Households Program (IHP) and State Supplemental Grant Programs.
- 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.
- To be considered for assistance, at least one person in the household must be a U.S. citizen or by legal definition a qualified alien or non-citizen national with a Social Security number. This may include a child.
- The California State Supplemental Grant Program may assist with any eligible items not already addressed by the IHP.
FEMA is actively contacting survivors to determine their housing needs so that they can be quickly transitioned into an appropriate intermediate housing solution as they become available. Please visit wildfirerecovery.org to find a comprehensive list of disaster programs, resources and information.
Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) and FEMA Group Sites Frequently Asked Questions
Federal, state and local partners have collaborated to provide direct housing solutions to individuals and families most severely impacted by the 2018 California wildfires. The following questions and answers address common questions regarding MHUs and FEMA group sites.
Q: Who is eligible to reside in a FEMA temporary group site community?
A: An individual must meet general conditions to be eligible to receive FEMA housing assistance:
- FEMA must be able to verify the applicant's identity.
- The applicant’s necessary expenses and serious needs are directly caused by a declared disaster.
- The applicant proof of occupancy (renter) or ownership (owner).
- Housing damage or loss must be verified by FEMA through the onsite inspection.
Q: How long does a temporary group site community exist?
A: FEMA housing assistance for the temporary group site may be provided for a period of up to 18 months beginning on November 12, 2018, the date of the President's Major Disaster declaration, and ending on May12, 2020 for FEMA-4407-DR-CA.
Q: Will the MHUs and infrastructure be removed from a group site by FEMA?
A: Yes. The MHU will be removed. FEMA will leave behind any installed infrastructure that is installed during the site buildout.
Q: Will FEMA assign survivors to housing locations in Butte County and the surrounding area based upon their individual needs? (Medical needs, employment needs, transportation needs, etc.)
A: Yes, FEMA works with city, state and other federal agencies to identify appropriate sites for MHUs to be placed to meet the needs of survivors. FEMA also works with the individual survivor to place that individual/family according to their identified needs. FEMA expects applicants to accept the first offer of available alternate housing that meets their household’s needs.
Q: Who can stay with me in my MHU?
A: Only those individuals named on your FEMA Manufactured Housing Unit Revocable License and Receipt for Government Property (Revocable License) Agreement can stay in your MHU with you. With FEMA’s approval, you may be able to add or remove occupants from your Revocable License Agreement within seven days of signing.
Q: Do I have any other responsibilities regarding my MHU?
A: FEMA re-evaluates an applicant’s eligibility on a periodic basis, usually monthly, and the Direct Temporary Housing Assistance eligibility for the entire period of assistance is subject to the occupant continuing to meet recertification requirements.
- Applicants must actively work towards making or achieving a long-term housing plan.
- Applicants must accept long term housing options if made available.
- An applicant may need to surrender the MHU if a long-term housing option is turned down.
- Applicants must adhere to all terms and conditions of the license agreement.
Q: How are FEMA applicants screened to ensure an individual is a disaster survivor?
A: An applicant must have applied for assistance from FEMA; proven occupancy of a dwelling that was destroyed or suffered major damages within and directly caused by the event; and FEMA has determined there are no other housing resources to meet the family’s needs.
Q: How will FEMA address applicants who commit criminal activities (e.g., drugs, trespassing, alcohol, noise or nuisance activities)?
A: All occupants must agree to comply with FEMA’s rules, terms, and conditions for occupying the Temporary Housing Unit (THU) before they move in by signing FEMA’s Revocable License Agreement. The Revocable License Agreement documents the applicant’s acceptance of government property for temporary housing based on FEMA’s terms and conditions included in the license. When applicants fail to comply with FEMA’s rules, terms, and conditions, FEMA may terminate their eligibility to remain in the THU.
Q: How are FEMA applicants screened to ensure they are not criminals or individuals with criminal backgrounds?
A: FEMA does not deny housing assistance based on criminal history.
Q: Are any items or substances prohibited in and around my MHU?
A: Any items or substances related to illegal or criminal activity are prohibited in and around your MHU. Additionally, you cannot store or use grills, fire pits, fireworks, propane tanks or other combustible substances inside or outside of your MHU.
Despite cannabis laws in the various states, cannabis is illegal under federal law. The federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 U.S.C. § 811). Under federal law, cannabis is treated like every other controlled substance, such as cocaine and heroin. Under the CSA, cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Therefore, cannabis activity in and around FEMA housing is a violation of federal law and would be a basis for federal criminal and/or civil action.
Q: Does FEMA revoke an individual’s Revocable License Agreement when that individual stays beyond their approved license date?
A: FEMA reserves the right to take possession of the unit if the occupant is non-compliant or in violation of the Revocable License Agreement. Violations may result in penalty fees and or termination of the agreement.
Q: Can I keep my pets in my MHU?
A: You can keep up to two domesticated animals (cat or dog) in your MHU. They must wear ID tags at all times and be up to date on their shots. Pets cannot be left unattended outside of the MHU and must be leashed at all times. No pens or kennels are allowed outside of the MHU. You are responsible for cleaning up after your pet, both inside and outside of your MHU.
As well, clause “Q” of the Direct Temporary Licensing Agreement addresses vicious animals.
Q: How many parking spots are allocated to each MHU?
A: One assigned parking spot per MHU. Guest parking will also be available.
Q: What happens if I lose power to my MHU?
A: FEMA is providing power and all utilities to all group sites. Power and electricity for the Gridley site will be managed by FEMA through the GSA lease of contracted services. If you lose power, notify the Group site management office located on the property. If outside business hours, call the maintenance number provided.
If you lose cable or internet, call your service provider directly.
Q: Will I get a washer and dryer?
A: While washers and dryers can be hooked-up in the MHU, you will have to purchase or provide those appliances yourself.
Q: I want cable and internet in my MHU. How should I get them installed?
A: FEMA does not pay for cable or internet services. You can start by calling your preferred provider to see if they install cable and internet in mobile homes. If they do, then they are authorized to drill holes necessary for running cable in accordance with their normal installation procedure. If your provider charges an installation fee, you are responsible for paying it. You are also responsible for all monthly and one-time only charges associated with the installation of cable and internet for the MHU.
Q: Can my cable provider install a satellite dish or receiver on my MHU?
A: Satellite dishes and receivers cannot be installed on your MHU. Your provider must install the dish or receiver using a separate, temporary pole. You are responsible for any additional fees associated with the installation.
Q: Does my MHU come with a security system?
A: FEMA MHUs are not equipped with a security system. If you need a security system installed, you must contact FEMA for written approval to install a security system.
Q: What happens if there is an issue with the MHU or an appliance in the MHU?
A: FEMA conducts periodic monthly inspections to make sure the stove, fridge, and heating/air conditioning system work properly, the unit sits level on its blocks, pipes have no leaks, and the doors do not jam, among other things. If you have issues with an appliance or the MHU, call 800-335-8546.
Q: Can I paint my MHU or hang picture frames?
A: Painting or otherwise altering the interior or exterior appearance of your MHU is not allowed. However, you can make small adjustments that would qualify as normal wear-and-tear, such as putting small nails in the wall to hang picture frames.
Q: Can I landscape around my MHU?
A: You must contact FEMA for written approval prior to landscaping.
Q: What resources are available to survivors when it comes to food assistance?
A: FEMA's Individuals and Households Program does not provide food assistance. Persons affected by a disaster and who need food assistance can apply for benefits through the CalFresh Program. For information, call 877-847-3663 or visit benefitscal.org. For more CalFresh information, visit the California Department of Social Services website.
If you have been affected by the wildfires and are in need of food assistance, apply for benefits through the CalFresh program. Find out how to apply in your county by calling (877) 847-3663 (FOOD) or apply online at: Benefitscal.org. For more information on CalFresh, visit: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/.
Emergency Prescription Assistance
Uninsured survivors of the Camp and Woolsey Fires living in Butte, Los Angeles or Ventura County, are eligible for free prescription refills, vaccines and medical supplies.
- Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP), has been launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
- A contractor administers this program on behalf of HHS and will immediately begin taking claims for prescription drugs, vaccines, specific medical supplies and limited durable medical equipment like wheelchairs and oxygen concentrators.
- The program pays for a 30-day supply of prescription medications for people without health insurance who are affected by disasters. Most pharmacies Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties participate in EPAP. You must provide proof of a new or existing prescription.
- If you need replacement durable medical equipment, medical supplies, or vaccinations that do not usually require a prescription, ask your healthcare provider to contact the pharmacy. All prescriptions processed through EPAP are free of charge.
- To find a participating pharmacy online, visit https://go.usa.gov/xPUGC. Call the pharmacy listed for your ZIP code to confirm it is open.
- If you have questions about EPAP, call 855-793-7470 or visit https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/epap/Pages/
The Disaster Distress Helpline, 800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a–year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
FEMA, through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, provides limited, free legal help for survivors. Disaster Legal Services provide assistance to low-income individuals who are unable to secure adequate legal services to meet their disaster-related needs. Visit here for more information.
Looking for a Job?
The Northern California Veterans Administration (VA NorCal) is offering job-placement assistance – and you don’t have to be a veteran to get it.
VA NorCal has partnered with the California Military Department’s Work for Warriors employment program to offer job-placement assistance to veterans displaced by the Camp Fire in Butte County, The program has extended its services to any California resident impacted by the Camp, Hill and Woolsey Fire disasters.
Veterans and disaster survivors seeking job-placement assistance should call Work for Warriors representatives at 916-854-4426 or e-mail email@example.com.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides temporary unemployment benefits to people whose jobs or work hour losses are a direct result of the disaster. Affected individuals are encouraged to apply for DUA through the California Employment Development Department, which will first check to see if applicants can qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.
- Do not return home until local officials indicate it is safe to do so.
- Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
- Use an N95 mask to keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe.
- If you are not ordered to evacuate, but smoky conditions exist, stay inside in a safe location or go to a community building where smoke levels are lower.
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 wildfires. Common post-disaster fraud practices include:
- Fake offers of state or federal aid
- Phony housing inspectors
- Fraudulent building contractors
- Bogus pleas for post-disaster donation
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 ftccomplaintassistant.gov. You may also send an email to DHSOIGHotline@dhs.gov.
Cash is best. If you would like to donate to help fire-affected communities and individuals, cash donations are best. They reduce the amount of labor and the expense of sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods. Relief agencies use cash to meet survivors’ specific needs more quickly, while also supporting local economic recovery.
The North Valley Community Foundation is sponsoring several donation campaigns supporting Camp Fire survivors. To learn more or donate, visit https://www.nvcf.org.
A growing list of agencies are now accepting monetary donations at http://www.buttecountyrecovers.org.
Butte County animal shelters are also requesting no more donations at this time. However, they are facing a long-term sheltering situation and may have needs in the future. Interested donors can visit the North Valley Animal Disaster Group at https://www.nvadg.org/.
Did You Know?
Looking for Missing Loved Ones?
Register as an evacuee and search for registered evacuees at safeandwell.org. Or call the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Missing Persons Call Center (8 a.m.-8 p.m.) at 530-538-6570, 530-538-7544 or 530-538-7671.
Finding Pets & Pet Shelters
Contact the North Valley Animal Disaster Group at 530-895-0000 to report lost pets. Large pets can be found at the Butte County Fairgrounds: 199 E Hazel St., Gridley, CA 95948. Small pets are at the Chico Municipal Airport: 150 Airpark Blvd, Chico, CA 95973.
Not Getting Mail?
If you lived in Paradise, Magalia, Stirling City or Forest Ranch, pick up your mail at the downtown Chico Post Office, 141 W. 5th St. Berry Creek mail can be picked up at the Oroville Post Office, 1735 Robinson St. Bring photo ID.
(Courtesy VA NorCal)
California Wildfires Myth vs Fact
When disaster strikes, some will try to take advantage of the most vulnerable. To dispel some of the rumors circulating on the internet and social media about recovery efforts following the 2018 California Wildfires, FEMA is addressing the most common and reoccurring themes:
MYTH: FEMA will repair private roads in Butte County damaged by debris removal trucks and heavy equipment.
- FACT: FEMA has no authority to repair damage to private roads, including damage caused by debris removal trucks and/or heavy equipment.
MYTH: FEMA will provide survivors a Tiny House
- FACT: Under the Direct Housing program, FEMA may provide manufactured houses or travel trailers to qualified survivors and survivor families as a last resort for temporary housing when no other options are available.
- FACT: FEMA does not accept requests for temporary housing; FEMA determines which applicants qualify based on the information given at the time of registration. Case managers directly contact individuals and families who qualify for housing.
- FACT: Survivors whose housing situation has changed since he/she originally registered need to update their information by either logging on to: www.disasterassistance.gov, or by calling the FEMA Helpline at: (800) 621-3362.
MYTH: FEMA temporary housing communities will provide shelter for FEMA employees and the pre-disaster homeless.
- FACT: FEMA temporary housing is available only to qualified disaster survivors.
- FACT: Eligible disaster survivors are those who have lost their home or rental property in a disaster and have no other housing options available.
MYTH: FEMA is managing all aspects of the debris removal mission in Butte County.
- FACT: FEMA is funding eligible and approved Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) for qualified applicants in Butte County.
- FACT: Cal-Recycle is responsible for administering, overseeing and obtaining contracts for the removal of the debris.
MYTH: FEMA trucks are being used for the debris removal mission in Butte County.
- FACT: FEMA is funding the debris removal mission in Butte County; Cal-Recycle is responsible for administering, overseeing and obtaining contracts for the removal of the debris.
- FACT: FEMA trucks are not being used to haul debris.
MYTH: Survivors are receiving calls from FEMA asking for money back.
- FACT: At no time will anyone from FEMA call a survivor and solicit or accept money.
- FACT: FEMA staff will never call and request someone verify personal information; FEMA already has that information on file.
- FACT: FEMA may ask a survivor to verify their FEMA I.D. (case number).
- FACT: FEMA may ask a survivor to verify the last four digits of their social security number but will never ask for all nine digits of an applicant’s social security number.
- FACT: Do not give out personal or sensitive information to anyone who calls.
- FACT: If you suspect someone is not who they claim to be, call the local police or the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline: 866-720-5721.
MYTH: Every operation is run by FEMA.
- FACT: FEMA works with many local and state government agencies, faith-based and non-profit organizations.
- FACT: FEMA may fund eligible missions and is responsible for reimbursement and technical support in those instances.
- FACT: The state may oversee a FEMA-funded mission, and in that scenario, the state may opt to obtain local and/or other governmental agency contracts.
- FACT: State and local contractors are not employed by FEMA.
- FEMA staff do not build houses.
- FEMA staff do not repair water lines.
- FEMA staff do not drive debris trucks.
- FEMA staff do not remove trees.
MYTH: If you’re a Camp Fire survivor and your housing situation changes, FEMA can’t help you.
- FACT: If your housing situation has changed, please contact FEMA.
- Camp Fire survivors are strongly encouraged to keep their contact information up-to-date by calling FEMA at: (800) 621-3362 or visit disasterassistance.gov.
- FEMA recommends applicants update both their address and phone number.
MYTH: I don’t need flood insurance; there’s not much rain in northern California.
- FACT: Buy flood insurance. Flooding, after a wildfire, is the most common and costly natural hazard in the U.S. Even light rain can lead to devastating flash flooding and mudflows within the burn area. It doesn’t matter if your home was or was not directly impacted by the fire, property can still be at an increased risk of flooding for many years to come.
- Homeowner policies typically do not cover flooding.
- Flood insurance is available to homeowners and renters.
- By law, there is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase until the flood insurance coverage takes effect.
- If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you should be able to purchase a policy. To see if flood insurance is offered in your area, go to: www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-status-book.
MYTH: FEMA Public Assistance (PA) is for individual grants.
- FACT: PA grants assist in paying for eligible infrastructure and repairs that will benefit the public at large.
- Applicants are typically state, Indian tribal, territorial, local governments and certain nonprofit organizations.
- PA work can include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repairs to public roads, public bridges, water utilities, public buildings, the contents of public buildings, public utilities, public parks and other recreational public properties.
- Public Assistance is FEMA’s largest grant program.
MYTH: FEMA and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) are working together to handle tree removal in Butte County.
- FACT: FEMA is not working with PG&E on its tree removal mission.
- FACT: FEMA has no authority to give PG&E approval, guidance, direction or authorization in how it executes its tree removal mission.
- FACT: FEMA is not funding any of PG&E’s tree removal mission.
MYTH: FEMA doesn’t allow pets in trailers.
- FACT: FEMA allows two domesticated indoor pets per household.
- FACT: Preference is not shown or given to one survivor over another.
- All survivors/tenants are asked to follow the same regulations if staying in FEMA housing.
- FACT: FEMA considers what is best for the entire housing community over the appeal of an individual, family and/or small group.
- FACT: Pets must be leashed when outside the unit and may not be left unattended.
- FACT: Outdoor pet kennels, pens, cages or crates are not permitted.
- FACT: Animals that display vicious or dangerous behavior are not allowed.
MYTH: FEMA provides 18 months of guaranteed housing for survivors.
- FACT: FEMA temporary housing is available only to eligible disaster survivors.
- FACT: FEMA’s program for temporary housing may provide assistance up to 18 months.
- However, the program requires survivors to recertify their eligibility for temporary direct housing assistance every 30 days and to demonstrate progress towards a permanent housing solution; therefore, the license for housing survivors is on a month-to-month basis.
- FACT: FEMA aims to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars by requiring applicants to demonstrate they have a continuing need for temporary housing assistance.
MYTH: Why won’t FEMA give me a new house?
- FACT: To address the complex needs of Camp Fire survivors from Butte County, FEMA is working closely with the State of California, other federal agencies and voluntary organizations to provide a variety of housing resources and options that best suit each eligible survivor’s situation. The options include:
- Individual Assistance grants to pay for essential home repairs.
- Financial rental assistance to lease temporary accommodations while a survivor’s home or apartment is being repaired, or until he/she can find a permanent housing solution.
- Development of Temporary Housing Communities throughout Butte County, which will eventually house approximately 600 households, or between 900-1200 people.
- Leased space at 19 commercial sites throughout the region to place new FEMA-owned manufactured housing units or travel trailers for survivors to live in until they can find permanent housing.
- Approximately 637 households have used Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) to secure hotel and motel rooms while searching for interim or permanent housing solutions.
- FACT: The housing program assists eligible Camp Fire survivors whose permanent home or apartment has sustained major damage and is no longer safe, sanitary and functional. Survivors must also work toward a permanent housing solution. For more information on the program’s criteria, go to: https://go.usa.gov/xmJye.
- FACT: FEMA has disbursed more than $80 million to Butte County homeowners and renters where the Camp Fire destroyed nearly 19,000 structures.
MYTH: Every FEMA housing option has an 18-month lease.
- FACT: FEMA’s program for temporary housing may provide survivors with assistance for up to 18 months from the date a Presidential Disaster Declaration is approved, but that does not mean housing is provided for 18 months.
- FACT: Once a survivor takes possession of a FEMA unit, he/she is required to do three things every 30 days:
- Demonstrate a continued need for housing assistance.
- Recertify their eligibility.
- Show he/she is making progress toward a permanent housing solution.
- FACT: Survivors reside in FEMA housing on a month-by-month, case-by-case basis.
MYTH: A crisis counseling option for Camp Fire survivors living outside the burn area, or for those living outside of California doesn’t exist.
- FACT: A 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.
- The toll-free, multilingual and confidential crisis-support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.
- Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
- Call (800) 985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
All News Releases, Fact Sheets, and Updates for the California Wildfires (DR-4407) Are Available Here
Individual Assistance - Dollars Approved
Total Individual & Households Program (IHP) - Dollars Approved*
Total Housing Assistance (HA) - Dollars Approved*
Total Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - Dollars Approved*
Total Individual Assistance (IA) - Applications Approved*
Public Assistance - Dollars Approved
Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) - Dollars Obligated✝
Emergency Work (Categories A-B) - Dollars Obligated✝
* Dollars Approved: Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.
✝ Dollars Obligated: Funds made available to the State via electronic transfer following FEMA's final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.
Learn more about FEMA Disaster definitions. Information is updated every 24 hours.