MENDOCINO Co, CA, 5/3/23 — Mendocino County is now among the California counties whose residents are eligible for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the round of atmospheric river storms that began Feb. 21, according to a news release Wednesday. In February and March, Mendocino County saw extreme snow in high elevation areas, multiple rescues, and ongoing road closures that presented a real challenge to emergency services.
“We have all been pushed to the absolute maximum of our capabilities,” Sheriff Matt Kendall said at the time.
The Presidential Major Disaster Declaration back in April freed up public assistance, which offers funding and manpower for emergency work and repair of facilities. But further assessments have since been underway to see which counties qualify for aid directly to impacted residents.
“Additional counties may be added as further damage assessments are conducted, particularly in areas where record snowpack makes it difficult to accurately assess the full extent of damages,” the California Office of Emergency Services advised in the May 3 announcement.
In mid-March, FEMA had provided Mendocino County residents with $249,692.88 in individual assistance for the first round of storms. Residents impacted in the later storms can now apply for aid with home repairs, reimbursement for stays in motels or other emergency measures, and other help in their recovery.
For the February and March storms, Mendocino County staff is working closely with FEMA to set up Disaster Recovery Centers, per an announcement Wednesday. These centers typically involve local community organizations, recovery staff at the state and federal levels, and representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA) as well as FEMA.
But you don’t need to go in person to begin exploring aid options. Residents and business owners who sustained losses in Mendocino County can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY. More information on applying for FEMA assistance can be found here. More information regarding Disaster Recovery Centers is available here.
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.