PASADENA, Calif. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) will open a Disaster Recovery Center in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Friday, April 1, 2005.
The Disaster Recovery Center will serve residents who suffered damages during the severe storms of December 27, 2004 – January 11, 2005. The center will remain open through close of business Thursday, April 7, 2005 when it will become a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster office. The center is located at:
Santa Barbara DRC
American Red Cross Bldg.
2720 State Street
Santa Barbara, Calif. 93105
Weekdays 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Disaster victims should first register for federal and state assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585 for those who are speech- or hearing-impaired. The deadline to register with FEMA is May 15, 2005.
“The entire disaster assistance registration process can be completed by phone. But if residents still have questions about their application, they can call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 or visit the Disaster Recovery Center,” said David Fukutomi, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer.
The center will provide people with an opportunity to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists from state and federal disaster agencies as well as loan officers from the SBA.
“Now that federal and state assistance is available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in Santa Barbara County, we encourage those who have registered to take advantage of the services offered at the Disaster Recovery Centers,” said Henry Renteria, Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and State Coordinating Officer.
OES coordinates overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The office is responsible for ensuring California’s readiness to respond to and recover from natural, manmade and war-caused emergencies and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery efforts.
SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.