Washington, DC -- Federal disaster aid was made available today for earthquake victims in Napa County under a major disaster declaration issued for California by President Clinton, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the President's action authorizes the use of federal funds to help meet the recovery needs of county residents and business owners who sustained damage from the magnitude 5.2 earthquake that hit the area on September 3. Witt designated the county eligible for the aid immediately after the declaration.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Additionally, Witt said the declaration makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that additional forms of assistance for state and local government agencies may be made available later if warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Mark Ghilarducci of FEMA was named by Witt to serve as the federal coordinating officer for the recovery. Ghilarducci said affected residents and business owners in Napa County can begin the disaster application process by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available starting Friday, September 15, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PT) seven days a week until further notice.