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FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams Visiting Neighborhoods


People in California who have been affected by the recent wildfires may see Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in their neighborhood, knocking on doors.

DSA teams can help connect homeowners, renters, business owners, faith-based and community organizations with the necessary resources to start the recovery process.

The teams offer survivors registration assistance; up-to-date information on their application status; on-the-spot needs assessment; and referrals to help fill outstanding needs.

“The DSA teams are here to help,” said Timothy J. Scranton, FEMA federal coordinating officer. “They will all be carrying FEMA photo identification badges and may ask for some critical information to help speed your case along. Survivors can rest assured that when they share personal information with DSA team members it is a part of the registration process and that the information shared is secure.”

To help survivors register for FEMA assistance, DSA teams may ask for the following information:

  • A phone number where you can be reached;
  • Your social security number;
  • Your current mailing address;
  • The address of the affected property;
  • A brief description of the damage; and
  • Insurance information including your policy number.

DSA teams are currently visiting neighborhoods and businesses in Calaveras and Lake counties.

When DSA teams arrive at a home, business or any other organization, they will display official photo identification. To prevent fraudulent activities, if photo identification is not displayed, survivors should ask to see it.

Survivors can apply for disaster assistance online at or by calling 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585; 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. FEMA has made it a priority to reach survivors who need help – including people with disabilities and/or access and functional needs, senior citizens and people with limited English proficiency.

Cal OES/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Middletown Changes Hours


The Lake County Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Middletown, CA is changing its hours. The DRC is operated by the California Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the county and local agencies.

DRC Location:
The Lake County Disaster Recovery Center in Middletown
21256 Washington St., Middletown, CA 95461
Hours of operation will be:
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 4 p.m.

Two other DRCs are operational to assist California wildfire survivors.

The Lake County Disaster Recovery Center in Clearlake
14860 Olympic Dr., Clearlake, CA 95422
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 4 p.m.

The Calaveras County Disaster Recovery Center in San Andreas
891 Mountain Ranch Rd., San Andreas, CA 95249
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 4 p.m.

Survivors may find the nearest DRC location by visiting

Representatives from FEMA, the State of California, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies are among those represented to explain assistance programs and help survivors register.

All DRCs are equipped with assistive technologies to help survivors with disabilities register for assistance. FEMA equipped each center with accessibility kits to ensure all people have full access to FEMA information and assistance programs. The kits include devices to help people with a range of disabilities. Items include but are not limited to assistive listening devices, materials in large print and Braille. American Sign Language Interpreters are available upon request. If you need assistance, just ask.

Survivors can apply for FEMA assistance online at or by calling 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585; 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. FEMA has made it a priority to reach survivors who need help – including people with disabilities and/or access and functional needs, senior citizens and people with limited English proficiency.

For information about Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance programs, businesses and residents can go to or call the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.


Disaster CalFresh Enrollment Period Extended Two Days

The Lake County Department of Social Services (DSS) wants Valley Fire survivors to know the enrollment period for Disaster CalFresh assistance has been extended two days and will be available through Wednesday, October 7.

Disaster CalFresh is assistance to meet the temporary nutritional needs of disaster victims within a 30-day period following a natural disaster such as the Valley Fire. The program provides a month’s worth of benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which can be used to purchase food at authorized retailers. Purchase of hot food may be available.

You may be eligible for Disaster CalFresh if your family:

  • Lived in or worked in the disaster area at the time of the Valley Fire
  • Had a disruption in income
  • Has damage to your home or self-employment property
  • Has disaster-related expenses
  • Has inaccessible liquid resources

Apply for Disaster CalFresh through October 7 at these two locations:
Lake County Department of Social Services
15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake
(707) 995-4200
Hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Local Assistance Center (LAC)
Middletown Senior Center
21256 Washington Street, Middletown
(707) 987-3113
Hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
For more information and to be connected with resources: 1-888-565-2787

Disaster Legal Services Available for Wildfire Survivors in Calaveras, Lake Counties


WHO: California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)
           Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

WHAT: Disaster Legal Services Hotline. Wildfire survivors in Calaveras and Lake counties who can’t afford an attorney and who need legal services due to the disaster may call the California Disaster Legal Services hotline. Examples of disaster related legal assistance include: assistance with insurance claims (life, medical, property, etc.); counseling on landlord/tenant problems; assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures; and replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster.

HOTLINE: 1-530-272-5962

HOURS: Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

NOTE: This is a temporary number until the official hotline number is operational. The Cal OES/FEMA Joint Information Center will distribute a news release with an updated number and further information about the services available as soon as that number becomes operational.

State’s Emergency Services Director Requests Federal Public Assistance Funds for Valley and Butte Fire Recovery


SACRAMENTO – In an effort to expedite the economic recovery of Lake and Calaveras Counties after the devastating impacts of the Valley and Butte fires, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci has made a request for Federal Public Assistance funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The request of Public Assistance funding is designed to support the recovery of public infrastructure and clearance of fire debris that poses a threat to public health and safety and to the environment. These funds build on other federal assistance already provided to assist individuals and families who have suffered losses.

On Sept. 11 and Sept. 13, 2015, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. proclaimed States of Emergency in Calaveras and Lake Counties, due to impacts from the Butte and Valley fires, respectively. On Sept. 22, 2015, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster making federal disaster aid available for both fires. On Oct. 2, 2015, Gov. Brown also issued an Executive Order to accelerate the process of installing emergency housing in Lake and Calaveras Counties for fire victims.

The text of the full letter is below (pdf link):

Elizabeth Zimmerman

Associate Administrator Office of Response and Recovery (ORR)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security 500 C Street SW Washington, D.C. 20472

Through:Regional Administrator Robert J. Fenton, Jr. FEMA Region IX Oakland, California 94607-4052

Dear Ms. Zimmerman:

On September 22, 2015, as a result of the Valley Fire, President Obama granted Lake County a major disaster declaration (FEMA-4240-DR-CA), which was amended on September 23 to include the Butte Fire in Calaveras County. To date, the President’s major disaster declaration provided Individual Assistance for Lake and Calaveras Counties, Hazard Mitigation statewide, and subsequently Category B, Direct Federal Assistance was included. Pursuant to Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 206.40, I am requesting the Public Assistance Program (Categories A – G) for Lake and Calaveras Counties.

On September 20, 2015, I requested joint federal, state, and local preliminary damage assessments in both counties. The assessments were conducted on September 22 through September 24, 2015. The preliminary damage assessment for Public Assistance totaled $ 97,913,559 in estimated impact to the State. The majority of these costs are associated with debris removal, including debris on private property.

Although the total impacts to the State are $97,913,559, in collaboration with FEMA we have deducted the debris removal costs that are not eligible for federal consideration. As such, the assessed eligible costs for Public Assistance are $66,670,344, which amounts to a $657.96 per capita impact in Lake County and a $164.72 per capita impact in Calaveras County.

The State of California understands that typically private property owners are responsible for removal of debris after a disaster. However, where the magnitude of the disaster creates an enormous amount of debris, it is in the public’s interest to remove this debris expeditiously in order to eliminate threats to life, public health, and safety and to ensure economic recovery of the affected community.

On September 15, 2015, Lake County’s Health Officer proclaimed a public health emergency exists in Lake County. That proclamation was amended on September 22, 2015, to reiterate the urgent nature of the hazardous debris. On September 22, 2015, Calaveras County also proclaimed a public health emergency due to hazardous debris.

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) have determined the ash and debris from burned residential structures contain concentrated amounts of heavy metals, such as antimony, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc that pose a health risk to the public and environment. As such, the CalEPA is currently conducting random testing to determine the specific level of contamination in the debris. Many of the homes in the affected communities were constructed prior to 1980 and contain toxins, such as asbestos, a binding agent found in many materials formerly used for construction.

Both Calaveras and Lake Counties have determined the volume of debris is beyond their capabilities to manage and remove. In response, the State’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is managing the overall debris removal operations to effectively and expeditiously eliminate the public health and safety threat that exists in these communities. However, the Valley Fire and Butte Fire represent the fifth and sixth debris operations for CalRecycle in California within the last twelve months, beginning with the Boles Fire in Siskiyou County, the Round Fire in Mono County, the Rocky Fire in Lake County, and five fires in Trinity County (Fork, Route, Mad River, South, and River Complexes). The cumulative impact of all the wildfires have depleted California’s resources and are hindering its ability to effectively respond and recover.

To ensure the economic recovery of both Calaveras and Lake Counties, removal of this debris is necessary. Until this debris is properly removed homeowners will not be able to return to their properties safely to begin the rebuilding process. Additionally, based on historical weather seasons and the National Weather Service’s projections, inclement weather could start as early as mid-October for Northern California, including Calaveras and Lake Counties. Therefore, time is of the essence.

Therefore, I am specifically requesting Public Assistance (Categories A – G) for Lake and Calaveras Counties. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any additional information.

Thank you for your continued support.



Governor’s Authorized Representative

One Month Left to Apply for SBA Disaster Loans

SBA Logo

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Field Operations Center – West today reminded small, nonfarm businesses in three California counties and neighboring Arizona counties of the November 4, 2015, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury. These low-interest loans are to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in the following primary county that began January 1, 2015

  • Primary California county: Imperial;
  • Neighboring California counties: Riverside and San Diego;
  • Neighboring Arizona counties: La Paz and Yuma.

According to Garfield, small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. “EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact,” said Garfield.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage,” Garfield added.

The interest rate is 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more disaster assistance information, or to download applications, visit Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

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Even if You Have Insurance, Register with FEMA


If you live in Calaveras or Lake counties and were affected by the recent wildfires and are insured, you may still be eligible for FEMA assistance.

By law, 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.

If a survivor received a settlement from their insurance company and still has unmet disaster-related needs, they may be eligible for a grant.

If a survivor has exhausted the settlement from their insurance for Additional Living Expenses (ALE for loss of use) FEMA may be able to assist with disaster-related temporary housing.

If an insurance settlement is insufficient to cover disaster-related needs, survivors may be eligible for grants to cover emergency home repairs, disaster-related medical, dental and funeral costs and other disaster-related expenses.

If a survivor’s insurance settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days from the time they filed the claim, they should contact FEMA. After providing the necessary documentation – the claim number, date applied, and an estimate of how long it will take to receive a settlement – a survivor may qualify for an advance that would have to be repaid to FEMA once the insurance settlement is received.

Survivors can register for FEMA assistance online at or by calling 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585; 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.



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