FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center in Paradise, Calif., Offering Services to Camp Fire Victims

Formerly, there were only centers in Chico, Oroville and in mobile trucks spread throughout the region.

by Hannah Darden, The Sacramento Bee / January 28, 2019
Jacob Saylors, 7, center and his brother Jeremy Saylors, 11, find religious figurines still intact as they comb through the rubble for personal items that survived the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 18, 2018. The family's home was also destroyed by another wildfire 10 years ago. TNS

(TNS)— With deadlines approaching for Camp Fire victims to get assistance, FEMA has opened a new disaster recovery center in Paradise to connect residents with emergency services.

The second phase of debris removal has begun, said Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Jovanna Garcia, and Paradise is beginning to fill with people again. Some businesses have reopened, some people whose houses survived the fire have moved back in, and people are coming through every day to return to their properties.

The center opened Wednesday on Ewald Court in Paradise and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays.

Thursday marks the deadline to register with FEMA to receive disaster assistance and to submit a "right of entry" form to receive government-subsidized debris removal. The deadline to submit a form for insurance-subsidized debris removal is Feb. 28.

Garcia said FEMA chose to open this center to make it easier for those in Paradise to get the services they need. Formerly, there were only centers in Chico, Oroville and in mobile trucks spread throughout the region.

The center provides services and information from FEMA, the California Department of Emergency Services, Butte County, HUD and the Red Cross. Additionally, there are "vital documents" services to get survivors birth certificates and IDs, as well as workforce, Social Security and small business assistance.

"Some survivors coming in are ecstatic, to know that it's so much easier for them to walk in and not have to go down to Chico," Garcia said. "We're going to be there for a little bit longer than the one in Chico, to establish resources and awareness."

Garcia said FEMA also aims to bring fire victims information on how to repair, rebuild and provide a stronger foundation to protect them in the future.

Garcia said there's also a wealth of information online for fire victims at buttecountyrecovers.org, wildfirerecovery.org and disasterassistance.gov.

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