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FEMA meetings lead to $242,232 in added help

Oregon Office of Emergency Management photo Almeda and South Obenchain fire survivors discuss the claims process with FEMA representatives at a July 30 re-engagement meeting at the Phoenix Civic Center.

A new wave of Federal Emergency Management Agency meetings has helped Oregon survivors of the 2020 Labor Day fires recover hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of missed emergency benefits, including more than $240,000 to Jackson County survivors of the Almeda and South Obenchain fires.

Since Wednesday, FEMA has met with 513 Oregon Labor Day fire survivors registered in Jackson, Marion, Linn, Douglas, Lincoln, Clackamas and Lane counties, according to a news release issued Wednesday by the the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

At seven meetings conducted over the past few months, FEMA representatives helped those Oregonians recover an added $454,929 in benefits.

Most of the re-engagement meetings conducted so far have been in Southern Oregon, according to a FEMA representative, and more than half of the money went to Jackson County residents.

FEMA conducted 336 interviews during the three weekends of re-engagement meetings conducted in Jackson County in July. From those meetings, $242,232.64 went to Jackson County survivors.

The meetings gave registered wildfire survivors an opportunity to discuss reasons why benefits were denied and offered guidance through the claims process, according to OEM.