A few days left to register for disaster assistance

Southern California residents recovering from the December wildfires and January mudslides and flooding have until March 16 to register for federal disaster assistance .

Individuals and families who were living in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and suffered damage or losses from the fires and mudslides are encouraged to register for assistance.

After applying for disaster assistance with FEMA, they may also be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Survivors are encouraged to submit their application for a low-interest disaster loan, if contacted by the SBA to do so.

Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses and private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.

So far, 629 individuals and households have been deemed eligible for FEMA individual assistance and more than $3.7 million has been approved in grants. The SBA has approved 287 disaster loans for businesses, homeowners and renters for more than $30 million.

Survivors are encouraged to register even if they have insurance. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance or other benefits but may be able to help with uninsured or underinsured losses.

Survivors can apply for disaster assistance by going online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by using the FEMA app on a smart phone or by calling 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time, seven days a week.

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