The Napa Valley Community Foundation is urging all local residents who have lost property or income because of the October wildfires to seek government assistance while it is still available.

We believe that pursuing government aid makes sense for two reasons.

First, cash grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) can be tremendously helpful to homeowners and renters with uninsured losses.

Likewise, Disaster Unemployment Assistance can provide much-needed financial support to those who could not work, or work enough, while the fires temporarily disrupted our wine and hospitality industries.

Second, to be eligible for cash assistance from the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund that we manage, residents will be asked to demonstrate that they have first applied for government disaster aid if they are qualified to do so. This approach helps us leverage the resources we have been entrusted with against the deeper pockets of the federal government. It also enables us to focus charitable dollars on those who cannot access other monetary sources of support.

The deadlines are approaching quickly. Individuals who have lost homes or personal property have until Dec. 11, next Monday, to apply for government disaster assistance through FEMA and the SBA. Applications may be submitted at the Local Assistance Center located at 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Building A in Napa.

Individuals who have lost employment income have until Dec. 18 to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance through California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). Those looking for assistance may visit edd.ca.gov to learn more, or call (800) 300-5616 (for English) or (800) 326-8937 (for Spanish).

Terence P. Mulligan, President

Napa Valley Community Foundation

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