One Week Left to Call and Apply for Calif. Disaster Aid

May 9, 2005

Only one week remains for individuals and business owners in the eight California counties designated for individual assistance to call and apply for state and federal aid to replace losses from the severe storms, flooding, debris flows and mudslides that occurred Dec. 27, 2004 through Jan. 11, 2005.

The deadline to call and apply for disaster assistance is Monday, May 16, 2005. The eligible counties are Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Individuals and business owners in the eligible counties who sustained losses but still have not applied for assistance should do so by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). There is also a special number for those with hearing or speech impairment, TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are operational Monday through Friday only, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

“This is our final effort to reach out to any disaster victims who still haven’t applied,” David Fukutomi, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer, said.

Even if one has insurance, they may still be eligible for disaster assistance for under-insured losses. However, in order to complete an application, FEMA will need the resident’s insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits.

“We don’t want anyone to miss out on the assistance they are entitled to,” said Henry Renteria, director, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “If you suffered damages as a result of the severe storms, flooding, debris flows and mudslides, please call and apply before the deadline.”

People who have already applied may call the FEMA Helpline at the same numbers, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585), even after the deadline, to check on the status of their application and get additional information.

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