SALEM, Ore. – The Nov. 30 deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance has passed, but help is still available for wildfire survivors as FEMA continues working with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.
Oregon homeowners and renters who applied for FEMA disaster assistance have the right to appeal FEMA's eligibility decisions. Survivors who don't agree with FEMA's eligibility decision may file an appeal within 60 days of receiving their letter, even though the application deadline has passed. To learn more about the appeals process, including what to include and how to file an appeal visit https://go.usa.gov/x77EB. Appeals must be made in writing explaining why the agency should re-evaluate its decision and sent to FEMA by mail, fax or uploading to your online FEMA account.
Keep in touch with FEMA
Applicants should stay in touch with FEMA to ensure the disaster assistance process stays on track. Missing or incorrect information could result in delays in receiving assistance. Update contact information, report additional home damage or a delay in insurance claims in the following ways:
Going online at DisasterAssistance.gov
Downloading the FEMA app
Calling the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Those who use a Relay service, such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, should provide their specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you. Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
While the deadline to apply with FEMA has passed, late applications may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
Buy Flood Insurance Now
Oregonians who live in and around areas impacted by the wildfires face an increased risk of flooding for up to several years after the disaster. If you haven't already purchased a flood insurance policy, it's important to consider buying it now. It takes 30 days after applying for a new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insurance policy to go into effect. For more about information on FEMA's NFIP, visit FloodSmart.gov. If you are ready to buy flood insurance, go to FloodSmart.gov/flood-insurance/buy. To find a flood insurance provider near you, visit FloodSmart.gov/flood-insurance/providers. Twenty-five providers were listed for Oregon as of Nov. 25. Many have toll-free phone numbers. Before rebuilding, homeowners should contact their local building official and/or floodplain manager to make sure all building requirements are met.
SBA Disaster Loans
The Nov. 30 application deadline for homeowners, renters and businesses for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan for home or business physical damage has also passed. In some circumstances, however, applications may be accepted after the deadline on a case-by-case basis. For more information, call 800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, email questions to FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or visit sba.gov/disaster. The application deadline for businesses and private nonprofit organizations for a loan for economic injury is June 15, 2021. Applicants can complete an online application at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
Free Home Repair Advice
All Oregon residents – including disaster survivors affected by the wildfires and straight-line winds – can still get personalized mitigation advice from a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Specialist. For information on how to build safer and stronger or to inquire about your flood risk following a fire, email FEMA-R10-MIT@fema.dhs.gov and a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Specialist will respond. This is a free service.
Free Crisis Counseling is Available
Need to talk? The Safe+Strong Helpline is available for both children and adults who are struggling with stress, anxiety or other disaster-related depression-like symptoms. For help, call 800-923-4357 or visit safestrongoregon.org/mental-emotional-health.
Disaster Legal Assistance
Disaster Legal Services is taking questions from wildfire survivors. Go to: oregondisasterlegalservices.org, or call 800-452-7636 or 503-684-3763, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Disaster Case Management
Community members who are enrolled in local/state/tribal and/or federal programs providing case management are encouraged to reach out to and stay in touch with their providers throughout their recovery.
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