Los Angeles, Ventura County Residents and Businesses May Be Eligible for Disaster Assistance

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that Los Angeles and Ventura County residents and business owners who suffered damages and losses as a result of the severe storms, flooding, debris flows and mudslides which occurred from Dec. 27, 2004 through Jan. 11, 2005 may be eligible for disaster assistance.

People in those counties affected by the disaster may call and register with FEMA, toll-free, at 1-800-621-FEMA (621-3362). The number for the hearing or speech impaired is 1-800-462-7585, TTY. Operators are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

“Registering with FEMA for disaster assistance takes one phone call,” said FEMA’s David Fukutomi, federal coordinating officer. “Even if they have insurance, people should register with FEMA because they may be underinsured for losses and expenses. We don’t want anyone that was impacted by the disaster to miss getting the help for which they are eligible.”

Only homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained losses directly attributable to weather events from Dec. 27, 2004 through Jan. 11, 2005 are eligible for federal and state assistance.

“Homeowners and renters in Los Angeles and Ventura counties affected by the disaster may be eligible for grants to pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses,” said Henry Renteria, OES director and state coordinating officer. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries. Disaster aid varies on a case-by-case basis.

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.