Deadline for FEMA wildfire assistance approaching

Survivors of this year’s wildfires in Oregon have one week left to apply for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Posted: Nov 23, 2020 12:15 PM
Updated: Nov 24, 2020 7:16 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Survivors of this year’s wildfires in Oregon have one week left to apply for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The agency extended the deadline for its disaster assistance program to Monday, Nov. 30.

The extension is for eight counties in Oregon, including Clackamas, Douglas, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion.

According to Dolph Diemont, the federal coordinating officer for FEMA, the agency has moved fully into recovery mode and has already received more than 25,000 registrations for aid.

“We want to reach every single one that has had any kind of damage to their homes or vehicles or personal properties in one of the declared counties,” Diemont said.

According to FEMA, more than than $27 million has already been disbursed to residents who qualify. The money can cover rent, home repairs, property loss and other disaster-related needs. Most people who apply are approved within days.

Diemont said the deadline was extended because it is believed some evacuees living in hotels and motels may not be aware about the federal assistance available.

“We think maybe a lot of those people have not gotten the word and we just don’t want them to fall through the cracks,” Diemont said.

Diemont said even those with insurance should apply for assistance because FEMA can reimburse for damage to things like wells and septic tanks, which are not typically covered by insurance.

“Oregonians are very resourceful and many of them are already finding ways to move forward in this recovery, but it takes a long time,” Diemont said.

The program includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low cost loans for uninsured property loss and more.

You can register by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visiting the designated website.

When you register you'll need to provide your address, the condition of your home, insurance information and social security number, as well as a phone number or mailing address where you can be contacted. You might also want your banking information available too, so that assistance funds can be directly deposited into your account. Also, make sure you keep your registration number because you're going to need it whenever you contact FEMA.

If your application is denied, it might be for a small reason and Diemont recommends appealing the denial.

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