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Resources from Federal Agencies

The following resources from federal agencies address frequently asked questions related to emergency response and recovery.
  1. Disaster Distress Helpline

    The Disaster Distress Helpline External link opens in new window or tab. from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a--year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

    Learn about who is most at-risk for emotional distress from wildfires and where to find disaster-related resources on SAMHSA’s Wildfires Web page External link opens in new window or tab..

  2. Federal Emergency Management Agency

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the federal agency that works through the state, and then primarily with counties and local municipalities to provide federal disaster assistance. FEMA’s assistance has now been made available to the state of California in order to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires.

    FEMA provides two primary types of assistance: individual and public. A chart listing the approved assistance programs for California counties is available below.

    • FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) provides financial help or direct services to those who have necessary expenses and serious needs, such as housing and child care assistance, if they are unable to meet these needs through other means. To see if your area has been declared for Individual Assistance or to locate a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, enter your address at External link opens in new window or tab..

    • FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) grant program External link opens in new window or tab. provides federal assistance to government organizations and certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations. PA provides grants to state, tribal, territorial, and local governments, and certain types of PNP organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly-owned facilities, and the facilities of certain PNP organizations. Schools and public early childhood education programs will want to collaborate with county governments to determine if these funds may be used to repair or rebuild damaged school facilities.
  3. U.S. Department of Education

    Non-Regulatory Guidance on Flexibility and Waivers for Grantees and Program Participants Impacted by Federally Declared Disasters External link opens in new window or tab. (DOCX)

    The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center External link opens in new window or tab. supports schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education, with their community partners, in the development of high-quality emergency operations plans (EOPs) and comprehensive emergency management planning efforts. Established in October 2004 and administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS), the REMS TA Center provides a hub of information, resources, training, and services in the field of school and higher ed emergency operations planning. REMS TA Center Recovery Resources External link opens in new window or tab.(PDF)

  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Visit EPA’s Wildfires Web page External link opens in new window or tab. for resources related to preparing for and recovering from wildfires.

    Resources on EPA’s Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools Web page External link opens in new window or tab. include indoor air quality (IAQ) best practices and guidance on healthy schools renovations.

Questions:   Emergency Services Team |
Last Reviewed: Friday, October 20, 2023