PASADENA, CA -- Individuals who have financial costs as a result of the wildfires have one week remaining to register for federal and state assistance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES).
“I want to be sure everyone with disaster-related losses knows that there is a deadline to register for federal assistance,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall. “You must get your name and other information into the FEMA system before 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9th, and the only way to do it is by registering with FEMA.”
Individual assistance is available to affected homeowners and renters in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties for eligible losses and damages caused by the wildfires.
“OES is committed to working with FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and state agencies to make sure that all Californians affected by the fires have the opportunity to apply for federal and state disaster assistance,” said Henry Renteria, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) and state coordinating officer for the fire recovery effort. “It is critical, though, that homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the fires do their part by applying before the Jan. 9 deadline.”
Telephone registrants may call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The deadline for telephone registration is 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. Or, individuals and business owners may register online at www.FEMA.gov until midnight Jan. 9.
The Jan. 9 deadline also applies to applications for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA. For residential property damage not covered by insurance, the SBA loan program is the primary form of disaster assistance.
In addition, completion of the SBA loan application is a pre-condition to qualify for grants from FEMA and the state of California. An exception to the SBA deadline is for economic injury disaster loans, which may be made until July 24, 2008. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
“I urge anyone who has received an SBA loan application to submit it before the deadline,” Hall said.
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008, is also the deadline for Southern California residents to apply for federally-funded Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The program is funded by FEMA and claims are processed through the California Employment Development Department (EDD). All individuals-including self-employed-who are unemployed as a result of the October and November wildfires in the federally-declared California counties may be eligible for DUA.
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.