Southern California homeowners and renters who have registered for disaster assistance with FEMA following the December wildfires and January mudslides and flooding, are encouraged to stay in touch as their applications are processed.
Financial help for home repair, temporary rental assistance, personal property loss and other losses or damage not covered by insurance may be available to applicants in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Applicants can track their application and should notify FEMA of changes to their mailing address, phone number, email address or if they receive an insurance settlement. Any necessary documents can also be uploaded directly by going online to DisasterAssistance.gov. Applicants can also call the helpline at 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time seven days a week.
As of close of business March 27, 691 households have received more than $4.2 million in assistance from FEMA. The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved 381 loans for businesses, homeowners and renters for more than $40.4 million.
Significant efforts have been made with the removal of debris from basins and creeks in Santa Barbara County. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removed 326,908 cubic yards of debris from 11 basins that provide protection to downstream neighborhoods and properties in Santa Barbara County. USACE is also assisting Santa Barbara County clear debris from nine creeks. Work is complete in eight of nine creeks, for a total of 47,306 cubic yards removed.
CalRecyle has been working in Ventura County to remove debris from private property and conduct soil sampling. So far CalRecyle is 71 percent complete with private property debris removal in Ventura County and expect to be complete by mid-April.
Debris removal is critical to reopening roadways and facilitating further recovery, but is also essential to helping communities prepare for increased flood risks that follow major fires for several years. All residents of Southern California who live near burned areas should be carefully monitor the weather and follow local emergency recommendations. Residents can increase their financial protection by buying insurance now. Click here for information on flood risks after fire, go to or visit California Department of Water Resources for more information.