PASADENA, Calif. -- There is less than a week left to apply for federal and state disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the State of California. The deadline to apply for federal and state disaster assistance is Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008.
The registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Jan. 7-9, 2008.
Friday, Jan. 4, the major declaration for wildfires was amended to include damage caused by flooding, mud and debris flow in burn-affected areas. Disaster recovery services and funding provided by FEMA will be available to eligible homeowners, renters, business owners, local governments and non-profit agencies that sustain wildfire-related damages.
Individual assistance continues to be provided for residents with property damages from the wildfires. Here is a summary of disaster assistance funding:
- $63 million - Approved (SBA) loans to homeowners, renters and business owners.
- $9 million - Housing assistance grants from FEMA for rental expenses, home repair or replacement.
- $3.6 million - Assistance with other needs from FEMA and the State of California for losses and damage to personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, moving expenses and other disaster-related costs.
- $1.8 million - Approved California State Supplemental Grants from the California Department of Social Services for those who have received the maximum grants for housing and other needs from FEMA and the state.
- $235,067 in federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance funds has been disbursed by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) through Dec. 31, 2007, to individuals unemployed by the wildfires.
Those who have already registered may go online at: www.fema.gov/assistance/process/update_assistance.shtm or call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA. The helpline is a direct link for an applicant to update a change of address, phone number and other essential information so assistance may be delivered as quickly as possible. It also allows the applicant to monitor the progress of their individual case. The helpline operates Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice.
Beyond the dollars provided to Southern California residents, much individualized service is involved in the wildfire recovery.
- 18,784 Californians have registered for state and federal disaster assistance.
- 15,003 FEMA registrants visited assistance centers seeking disaster recovery help and mitigation information in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, French and other languages. All disaster recovery centers are now closed.
- 8,221 FEMA inspections have been completed in disaster-designated counties. These inspections of wildfire-damaged structures are a prerequisite for property owners to qualify for federal and state grants and low-interest loans to repair, replace or rebuild.
FEMA community relations specialists walk disaster neighborhoods to offer recovery information and assistance. To date they have spoken with:
1,080 Faith-Based Organizations
296 Community-Based Organizations
291 Local Governments
522 Local Agencies
Crisis counseling for wildfire victims is available. Those who may be feeling overwhelmed as a result of the wildfires or need disaster-re...