Donald Trump

FEMA Assistance Available for People Affected by Woolsey Fire

At least 57,000 homes were still considered threatened by the wildfire in LA and Ventura counties

What to Know

  • At least 57,000 homes were still considered threatened by the Woolsey Fire
  • Firefighters are trying to prevent hot spots in Malibu Canyon from crossing into Topanga Canyon
  • The fire started Thursday in eastern Ventura County before burning in Los Angeles County and Malibu

Residents affected by the Woolsey Fire can take advantage of several relief programs under the federal disaster declaration for the state issued by President Donald Trump. Information on various programs is available on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website at According to FEMA, the available assistance includes:

-- Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.

-- Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.

-- Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.

-- Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.

-- Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.

-- Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan, in combination with a property loss loan, cannot exceed a total of $2 million.

-- Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.

-- Other relief programs can include crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans' benefits and social security matters.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www. or by calling (800) 621-3362 or (800) 462-7585 TTY.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Assistance for state, tribal and affected local governments can include:

-- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance, including direct federal assistance under the Public Assistance program, is available to state, tribal and local governments on a cost-sharing basis.

-- Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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