FEMA opens disaster recovery centers in Las Vegas and Glorieta

By: - May 16, 2022 3:34 pm

Chickens and a kid’s bike were among those rescued from the ranch belonging to the Torres family, who needed were ordered to leave due to the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon fire on Saturday, April 23. (Photo by Patrick Lohmann / Source NM)

Federal authorities opened two disaster recovery centers over the weekend as Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire grew to become the largest in New Mexico’s recorded history. 

As of Tuesday, May 17, at 7 a.m.

The Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon fire has burned over 299,500 acres. It is 26% contained.

The centers are meant to help New Mexicans who are surviving the wildfires blazing across parts of the state. As many as 20 were burning around the state in a single day in late April, though Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon far outpaces the others. Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate.

“Anyone affected by the wildfires living in Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and Valencia counties can visit any of the Disasters Recovery Centers (DRC),” said Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Dasha Castillo. Those N.M. counties have seen the largest wildfires so far in 2022.

Survivors can meet face-to-face with people from FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program in order to find temporary housing, and in the long-term, get help with repairing or replacing homes or vehicles. They can access assistance with other needs as well, like medical and dental health care, and child care.

FEMA mobile disaster recovery centers in northern New Mexico 

Las Vegas: Old Memorial Middle School (947 Legion Drive)

Glorieta: Glorieta Camps (11 State Road 50)

The aid workers at the centers can help survivors with applying, reviewing status updates, clarifying any written correspondence they get, understanding disaster recovery and eligibility, and collecting and scanning info or documents needed for case files.

Still, the fastest and easiest way to get help is by applying at, according to FEMA.

Folks who can’t get to one of the centers in person or who do not have internet access can apply by calling 1-800-621-3362 toll-free. The line operates every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

For people who don’t speak English or who have some other need that makes it difficult to apply, FEMA can provide interpreters, real-time captioning, and information in alternate formats, including large-print, audio and electronic versions.

If someone uses a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, you can give FEMA the number for that service so that they can communicate with them.

FEMA also has qualified American Sign Language interpreters, qualified multilingual interpreters and information written in multiple languages.

Undocumented people can still apply for certain kinds of assistance if another adult household member is a citizen or if the household has a minor child who was born in the United States and has a Social Security number, according to FEMA.

New Mexicans who lost work as a result of the fires can also apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, the Governor’s Office announced Monday.

They can apply at evacuation shelters (including the two FEMA centers above), at any Workforce Connection Center across the state, or by calling the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984. The center is open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. The deadline to apply is June 15. 

Have this information ready:

  • A current phone number
  • An address at the time of the disaster and the address where they are now staying
  • Their Social Security number, if available
  • A general list of damage and losses if you know what they are
  • An insurance policy number and the name of your agent or company

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Austin Fisher
Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.