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Disaster assistance available


Victims of the Creek, Rye and Skirball wind-fueled wildfires that erupted in Los Angeles County in December can now apply for federal disaster assistance.

A recent amendment to President Donald Trump’s major disaster declaration of Jan. 2 — made at the request of California Gov. Jerry Brown – freed up funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said.

“We encourage anyone who sustained wildfire damages due to the recent Los Angeles County area wildfires to register for assistance immediately,” Kuehl said.

Register at or by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or TTY (800) 462-7585. The toll-free numbers are operational seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. Registrants should be prepared to provide a description of the damage, information about insurance coverage and contact information, including bank account data for direct deposit of funds.

Help for homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the fires is also available from the California Office of Emergency Services and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Assistance can include state and FEMA grants and low-interest loans from the SBA. Grants may be used to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs, medical expenses and property losses. SBA disaster loans can assist with working capital needs that result directly from the disaster. Businesses of all sizes, including private nonprofit organizations, may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace property, machinery, equipment and inventory.

Low-interest disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Amounts and terms are based on applicants’ financial circumstances.

More information about SBA disaster loans is available by calling (800) 659-2955.