Fire Recovery Guide
Our region has experienced a devastating fire season this year, with some of the worst fires in our state’s history. The LNU Lightning Complex fires, which started on August 17, 2020, forced thousands of people to evacuate their communities, destroyed hundreds of homes, and left many families with nothing. The Glass Fire, which started on September 27, 2020, also forced thousands from their homes, destroyed over 1,500 structures and hit our district hard.
For those who have been affected by the LNU Lightning Complex fires and the Glass Fire, I've created Fire Recovery Guide to help individuals, families, and businesses navigate the resources available to them. These guides are slightly different due to the different stages of recovery for each fire and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Funds from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may be available to help individuals rebuild, repair and replace housing and other personal property not covered by insurance.
Individuals who were impacted by the LNU Lightning Complex fires or the Glass Fire should apply for FEMA assistance. You can apply in the following ways:
- Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov(link is external); https://www.disasterassistance.gov/es(link is external) (Spanish)
- Via smartphone at m.fema.gov
- Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
Small Business Administration (SBA) loans may also be available to individuals and businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, inventory, and supplies. Homeowners and renters may also be eligible for SBA loans to repair or replace disaster-related damages to homes or personal property.
After registering with FEMA, businesses and homeowners that would like to apply for SBA loans can do so online at: http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans(link is external).
Agricultural producers may also be eligible for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides payments to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers after a natural disaster. The funds may help you replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines damaged by the disaster. You can learn more about that program here: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/forms-of-assistance/5803.
The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) offers funding and technical assistance to repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters. The program can also help farmers and ranchers put emergency water conservation methods in place and pay for their installation for times of severe drought. Learn more about that program and how to apply here: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
You can also call my offices if you have problems with a federal agency or need additional assistance.
Our recovery is only just beginning. Please know I am committed to working with our local, state and federal officials to ensure that the federal government provides all necessary resources to support our community in this time of recovery. And, I stand ready to help expedite any support and resources that our communities need to rebuild and repair our homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
Our district pulls together in tough times. We’ve overcome challenges before by working together, and we will do so again. Should you need anything, my staff and I are here to help.