FEMA, SBA, State Have Approved More Than $18 Million For Southern California Wildfire Assistance...

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Release date: 
January 16, 2009
Release Number: 

PASADENA, Calif.-- More than 2,400 residents applied for assistance in the weeks since wildfires attacked four California counties. Housing and other disaster-related assistance totaling $ 18,724,156.14 have been approved to date for Southern Californians in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and Santa Barbara.

Individual assistance is available for residents with property damages from wildfire. Here is a summary of disaster assistance funding to date:

  • $16.1 million - Approved U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and business owners.
  • $1.9 million - Housing assistance grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for rental expenses, home repair or replacement.???????????? ?
  • $533, 338 - 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.
  • $200,000 - Approved California State Supplemental Grants from the California Department of Social Services for those whose needs exceed the maximum grants for housing and other needs received from FEMA and the state.
  • $93,827 - have been allocated by the U.S. Department of Labor to the California Employment Development Department for individuals unemployed by the wildfires and not eligible for regular unemployment assistance.

Beyond the dollars provided to Southern California residents, much individualized attention is involved in wildfire recovery:

  • 1, 293 builders, homeowners and renters received advice in home improvement stores and disaster assistance centers from FEMA mitigation experts about how to build fire-safe and flood-aware structures.
  • 1,510 people have visited assistance centers seeking disaster recovery help and mitigation information in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, French and other languages.
  • 1,708 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.
  • 2,401 Californians have registered for state and federal disaster assistance online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Phone lines are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

FEMA's community relations specialists walk disaster neighborhoods to offer recovery information and assistance. To date they have spoken with:
1,622??????????????? Residents
63???????????????????? Businesses
8????????????????????? Faith-Based Organizations
39???????????????????? Community-Based Organizations
32???????????????????? Local Governments
9????????????????????? Local Agencies
9????????????????????? Schools

The California State Bar has a legal assistance hotline at 1-866-636-9041. Wildfire victims can call the line with disaster-related basic legal questions, such as replacing lost documents, housing-landlord-tenant disputes, and insurance issues.

Public assistance grants are being written on a cost share basis to state, county and local governments for emergency work such as debris removal and reimbursement for protective measures, plus repairs to roads, public utilities, public buildings, and public parks.

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 m...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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