FEMA opens Martinez office to help Camp Fire evacuees

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Many evacuees from the November Camp Fire in Butte County and other California wildfires have found temporary homes in Contra Costa County while they decide whether to rebuild or move elsewhere, officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have said.

In recognition of this, FEMA is opening mobile disaster recovery centers (MDRCs) in Martinez and other Northern California areas to help those displaced survivors of the November wildfires who can’t travel to Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

One of these is in Martinez. Others are in Alameda, Sacramento, Shasta and Tehama counties.

Operated jointly by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and FEMA, the mobile recovery centers offer information about resources available to homeowners, business owners and renters who sustained damage from the wildfires, the FEMA announcement said.

That’s the same services survivors would receive if they were able to reach the fixed-site recovery centers, the statement said.

Representatives of FEMA’s individual assistance and mitigation teams, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), other state, federal and non-governmental organizations and agencies, will be at the mobile offices.

The SBA is helping businesses of all sizes as well as private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters with funding for making repairs and rebuilding as well as replacing lost or damaged personal property.

It is the federal government’s primary source of money for long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property, the FEMA statement said.

Those centers are accessible by and equipped for those with disabilities, and have such communication tools as amplified listening devices, video relay interpreting and CapTel phones. American Sign Language interpreters are available if requested in advance.

Those who want to visit the centers are being asked to file insurance claims for damage to their homes, cars and businesses before applying for FEMA assistance.

They may register with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362, or by TTY communication at 800-462-7585. Those toll-free numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and have multi-lingual operators.

Access to the SBA is available at the disaster centers and online at sba.gov/disaster.

Those affected by the November California wildfires can find their nearest disaster recovery center online at https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator, or by texting 43362 with the message DRC and their zip codes. For the latter, message and data rates will be applied.

The Martinez mobile disaster recovery center is operating out of the Contra Costa County Public Works Department, 255 Glacier Drive. It is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today as well as Dec. 27, 28 and 29.

Other offices operating the same days and hours as the Martinez office are at the Citrus Heights Community Center, 6300 Fountain Square Drive, Citrus Heights; and Red Bluff Fairgrounds, 650 Antelope Blvd., Red Bluff.

Offices open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 20, 21, 22 and Jan. 3-5 are the Alameda County Sheriff’s Station, 4985 Broder Blvd., Dublin; and Sacramento County Regional Parks, 10361 Rockingham Drive, Sacramento. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 20-22 and Jan. 3-5 is the center at the Shasta/Redding Public Library, 1100 Parkview Ave., Redding.

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