Fires

FEMA centers offer fire survivors access to phones, recovery assistance

Coral Strickler of Valley Springs embraces Kat Brenner, 18, of Mountain Ranch at the disaster relief center located at Whiskey Slide Road in Mountain Ranch.
Coral Strickler of Valley Springs embraces Kat Brenner, 18, of Mountain Ranch at the disaster relief center located at Whiskey Slide Road in Mountain Ranch. aseng@sacbee.com

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering survivors of the Butte and Valley fires access to phone lines as well as other aid at Disaster Recovery Centers.

Officials note that many survivors of the recent wildfires in Calaveras and Lake counties have lost both landline and cellular phone service. Disaster Recovery Centers in San Andreas, Middletown and Clearlake have operational phone lines and are staffed with FEMA representatives who can help residents register for disaster assistance, according to a FEMA news release.

The centers serve as one-stop shops for fire survivors. Specialists from the state, FEMA, the Small Business Administration and volunteer organizations are available to answer questions, help apply for federal assistance and provide referrals to community groups.

Applicants may visit a center to check the status of their application, update the application or inquire about other forms of assistance.

Applicants can also register for assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling the FEMA helpline, 800-621-3362, TTY 800-462-7585; for 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362.

The Calaveras County center is at 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas. It is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, until further notice.

In Lake County, the center at 21256 Washington St., Middletown, is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Tuesday. A center at Old Apria Health Care, 14848 Olympic Drive in Clearlake is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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