FEMA Mobile Intake Registration centers open through Sunday
Mobile Registration Intake Centers for those impacted by the River Fire have begun assisting residents of both Nevada and Placer counties as of Thursday, and will continue through Sunday.
Operated by Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel as well as representatives of the state Office of Emergency Services and Nevada and Placer counties, these centers are intended to help eligible residents apply for disaster assistance.
According to a news release, one of these centers will be open at Chicago Park Elementary School, 15725 Mount Olive Road, beginning from 4 to 8 p.m. today, as well as 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Another center will be open at the Sierra Vista Community Center in Colfax from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A third center in Auburn was open Thursday.
According to the release, eligible residents have until Oct. 25 to apply, and residents of either Nevada or Placer County may visit any of the centers.
FEMA spokesperson Robert Barker said the Mobile Registration Intake Centers address one of several ways people prefer to submit their application for disaster assistance.
“Some people prefer to do it by phone … or some people via the internet, but other people like to talk to folks in person and have that interpersonal communication, so that’s really what this is,” said Barker.
As FEMA personnel assist people one-on-one with their applications at the centers, said Barker, they will also be able to inform people of materials they may be missing in order to complete their application.
Barker said there is a checklist of recommended items to have on hand when applying, regardless of whether someone is doing so in person, over the phone, or online. On the checklist are the Social Security number of someone in the household, insurance information if applicable, and a description of the disaster damage to the applicant’s home or vehicle, in addition to financial and contact information.
“If approved, it’s just going to be a lot faster if we can deposit directly into your bank account, versus mailing a hard copy check,” said Barker, on the recommendation that people provide direct deposit information with their application.
“FEMA’s individual assistance program provides grants and other support programs to help eligible survivors that may include rent, home repair, home replacement, and other disaster-related needs such as childcare, medical, and dental expenses,” stated the release.
Barker said that applicants, if insured, are encouraged to contact their insurance agent or company first.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
“We work very closely with the (U.S. Small Business Administration), so when registering for FEMA, it’s very possible that folks are referred to another federal agency — primarily that’s the SBA,” said Barker.
According to SBA Public Information Officer Corey Williams, homeowners or renters are sometimes confused about why they are being referred to the agency, given that they do not own a business.
“In times of disaster, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance is not only able to help out businesses of all sizes (and) nonprofits, but homeowners and renters,” said Williams.
According to Williams, the agency offers low-interest loans of up to $200,000 to homeowners so they can repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, and up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged personal property, including things like vehicles. The latter type of loan is also offered to renters, said Williams.
If someone initially applies through FEMA and is referred to the SBA, said Williams, it is important that they complete their application with the agency.
He explained that this is because, if approved for the loan, the applicant is under no obligation to accept it; however, if not approved, the SBA will refer them back to FEMA or another assistance program.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com
To apply for assistance through FEMA or learn more about other disaster assistance, visit: disasterassistance.gov
To apply by phone, call 800-621-3362, or apply through the FEMA mobile app
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