MENDOCINO Co, CA, 5/12/23 — A Disaster Recovery Center is opening in Willits at 1 p.m. Monday, to remain open through June 2, Mendocino County announced this week. The center will be open at 111 East Commercial Street from Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) allow people affected by a disaster who could qualify for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to register, update their FEMA applications, and explore other opportunities for support available locally and statewide. This center will aid people impacted by the winter storms in February and March; earlier this winter, The Mendocino Voice visited a center in Point Arena that opened to aid residents after the initial round of atmospheric rivers.
“Specialists at the DRC can clarify the information you received from FEMA, the Small Business Administration, or other agencies; explain the rental assistance available to homeowners and renters; and fax your requested documents to a FEMA processing center and scan or copy new information or documents needed for case files,” the county advised in a news release.
FEMA Mobile Registration Intake Centers (MRIC) will also be open elsewhere in the North County, in Leggett, Laytonville, and Piercy. These centers do not offer the same community and state resources as a DRC, but do allow people to register and apply for federal aid. FEMA hopes this proactive approach helps them get in touch with people who may not know about the option to receive aid.
“They go out and walk the neighborhood, and knock on doors and try to meet people,” FEMA representative Patrick Boland told The Voice in February.
Additional information on locations and hours of operation for these mobile centers will be released as soon as it is available, the county said.
“MRICs move around regularly and may be in an area for a short period of time to reach survivors who need registration help only,” the release detailed.
Residents anywhere in Mendocino County impacted by February and March storms can also apply for FEMA assistance online or over the phone. Go to DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app, or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.
If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Helpline operators are available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
An accessible video on how to apply is available online.
Note: Kate Fishman covers the environment & natural resources for The Mendocino Voice in partnership with a Report For America. Her position is funded by the Community Foundation of Mendocino, Report for America, & our readers. You can support Fishman’s work with a tax-deductible donation here or by emailing [email protected]. Contact her at KFishman@mendovoice.com or at (707) 234-7735. The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.