PASADENA, Calif. -- In less than three weeks, the final day to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and for disaster-related unemployment assistance through the California Employment Development Department will be here.
FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall said the deadline for Southern California residents to apply for disaster assistance for damages or losses caused by wildfires is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2008.
During the upcoming Christmas holiday period, the teleregistration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 will be closed from Sunday, Dec. 23 through Tuesday, Dec. 25. During the periods of operation, it will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ?Individuals and business owners may register anytime with FEMA for help with property losses online at www.fema.gov.
Registering with FEMA starts the application process for federal and state assistance related to property losses directly caused by wildfires in Southern California. People who have registered with the American Red Cross or other helping agencies must also register with FEMA if they want access to federal and state aid.
"This is a busy time of year but no one should be too busy to apply for unmet needs," Hall said. "I urge any residents with uninsured losses to consider registering now rather than waiting until the last few remaining days before the application period ends."
January 9, 2008, is also the final day to apply for unemployment assistance for persons out of work due to the wildfires, who are self-employed individuals or agricultural employees who do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance, and who lost their income [www.edd.ca.gov/fleclaim.htm].
Residents in seven counties - Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, San Diego and Ventura - may apply for FEMA and state recovery aid including grants for emergency disaster housing and essential repairs, individual and household grants for necessities not covered by insurance, or other sources and low-interest loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.