active disaster quick links

National Disaster

Legal Aid

California Wildfires 2018

WILDFIRES HELP FOR PEOPLE IN CALIFORNIA

Disaster Legal Hotline Ventura County 
1-877-301-4448

Disaster Legal Hotline Los Angeles County
1-800-870-0732

Disaster Legal Hotline Butte County
1-800-345-9491

Wildfires affected areas in California beginning on November 8, 2018 and continuing. On November 13, 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of California to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected during this period. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. People in the following counties are eligible to receive federal disaster assistance: 

  • Butte, Los Angeles, Ventura (additional counties may be added) 

For DR-4407, assistance for affected individuals and families is available and people are urged to apply through FEMA.

Disaster Number: 4407

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

Registration with FEMA for Disaster Assistance Extended to Thursday, January 31, 2019
Small Business Administration Application Extended to Thursday, January 31, 2019
Appeal Your FEMA Decision Within 60 days of the date on the determination letter


Key resources for those impacted by this disaster

GOVERNMENT DISASTER RELIEF BENEFITS

Residents and businesses affected by this disaster can apply for government disaster relief benefits in several ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • On the FEMA Mobile App, or by
  • Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages. Deadline to apply with FEMA is January 11, 2019.
  • For official news and press releases related to this disaster, please visit FEMA's News & Updates- California Wildfires.
  • Note: Apply to FEMA to trigger the SBA Disaster loan process.
  • Download this quick guide for an overview on the disaster assistance process. 
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance: If you are unemployed due to a disaster or emergency, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI), Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave benefits. When authorized by the President, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may also be available for workers and self-employed who do not qualify for regular UI benefits.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND RESOURCES

OTHER RESOURCES THAT CAN HELP

ARE YOU AN ATTORNEY WHO CAN HELP? 

  • Pro Bono Training Institute, New Disaster Relief Training Series - PBTI’s Disaster Relief training modules will teach trainees how to assist individuals in applying for various forms of disaster relief under the supervision of a trained legal aid attorney.
  • Review Morrison & Foerster's Fall 2018 California Wildfires Helping Handbook- A Resource for Individuals, Families, and Small Businesses
  • Legal Services of Northern California is seeking private attorneys who live within driving distance of the Camp Fire who would like to volunteer their time to assist low income people affected by the fire.  Please contact their Pro Bono Coordinator at probono@lsnc.net for additional information.
  • The State Bar of California is working with local bar associations, legal services providers, law schools, and pro bono partners to coordinate the legal response for survivors of the Northern and Southern California wildfires. Register to volunteer via this online form.  
  • Complete this Volunteer Lawyer Form for Pepperdine University School of Law - Their Disaster Relief Clinic will offer pro bono legal services to people affected by the Southern California Wildfires of 2018. The Disaster Relief Clinic will provide community education, limited-scope representation, advice and counsel, and referrals to volunteer lawyers on matters related to the Wildfires. These matters likely will include applications and appeals for FEMA and other governmental benefits, insurance disputes, housing matters, business interruption, and related matters.
  • Familiarize yourself with the resources and trainings available at https://www.disasterlegalaid.org/trainings/
  • Sign up to be a member of the National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center (membership is free). This special practice area includes password-protected advocacy resources, a monthly training calendar email, and a series of roundtable discussions. 
  • Check https://www.disasterlegalaid.org/volunteer/ for volunteer opportunities updates.