Sunday, October 15, 2017

California Wild Fires. FEMA Support. October 2017

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Private Sector Division
National Business Emergency Operations Center

FEMA Continues to Support California Fire Response

Federal Assistance Available for Impacted Residents in Napa and Sonoma Counties

October 15, 2017

 FEMA, through its regional office in Oakland, California and deployed teams, continues to closely coordinate with state, local, and tribal officials to support firefighting response activities in California.

There are numerous large fires burning approximately 214,000 acres of state and private land, in parts of northern California.  Evacuations are in effect in some areas.

A FEMA Incident Management Assistance Team remains on site at the California emergency operations center to coordinate directly with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to support response activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.

Federal agency representatives are working to support federal and state requirements at the state operations center in Sacramento. Representatives from the Department of Transportation, 

Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, General Services Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy, U.S. Small Business Administration, Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the American Red Cross are deployed.

As of Oct. 14, the major disaster declaration for California wildfires includes Individual Assistance for Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa and Yuba counties. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Federal funding that is available to affected individuals in Sonoma and Napa counties can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can apply for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  

Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, seven days a week until further notice. 

As of Oct. 13, the major disaster declaration for the State of California includes federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local efforts for emergency work in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Solano, Sonoma, and Yuba counties.  Federal assistance is available to the state, tribal and eligible local government and certain nonprofit organizations, on a cost-share basis, for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is available statewide.  

Disaster Survivor Assistance staff are deployed to Sonoma and Napa counties to provide information about programs and help survivors register who do not have Internet or telephone access.

The State of California now operates Local Assistance Centers (LAC) in Sonoma (427 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa) and Orange (8165 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd., Anaheim) counties. As the State activates additional LACs, FEMA prepares to support with staff and resources, as requested. Disaster Survivor Assistance staff are supporting the LAC in Sonoma.

The American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program is available for survivors to let family members know they are safe and for family members to search for loved ones.

FEMA staged 121 ambulances at several safe locations closer to the fire areas with the majority traveling to Travis AFB, and continues to support anticipated shelter and evacuation needs by moving water, meals, cots and blankets to the federal incident support base. 

Preparedness and Safety Tips 

The State of California’s Office of Emergency Services website is a resource with links to fire information, air quality information, updates on evacuation centers and shelters, including shelters for animals and pets, volunteer opportunities and donations needs.

Residents are reminded to continue to monitor local radio or TV stations for updates emergency information, and follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials.
If ordered to evacuate during a wildfire, do so immediately- make sure and inform someone where you are going and when you have arrived.

If you see a wildfire and haven't received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1.  Don't assume that someone else already called.

If there is a wildfire in the area, be ready to evacuate on short notice.

As soon as safe, individuals affected by the fires can contact their home and auto insurance agent or company.  Survivors can document damage by taking photos and keeping receipts. 

Additional volunteer and donation opportunities are available on the website of the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters,, and the website of California Volunteers

The FEMA app (available in English and Spanish) provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, directions to open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.  The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.

Visit or to learn more about these and other preparedness tips.

Businesses of all sizes should prepare in advance of wildfires to prevent loss of life, property, or disruption to operations. Businesses can review and update their business continuity plans and ensure their workforce knows what to do before and during the storm. 

Resources are available on web sites such as  and


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