VENTURA, Calif. – The Department of Homeland Security announced on January 15 it had amended its major disaster declaration for the state of California to include the County of Ventura and the City of Ventura as areas eligible for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The amendment is the result of an appeal by the state to have individual assistance included under the declaration to aid victims of the Thomas Fire.
The amendment to the federal disaster declaration, originally declared January 2, 2018, now makes available such programs as Disaster Unemployment Insurance, Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households, Small Business Assistance, Legal Assistance and Community Housing Loans, among other federal assistance programs. Residents and businesses of Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore and other cities within the County may also be eligible for these assistance programs.
“These individual assistance programs are critical and will go a long way towards helping impacted victims and businesses recover in as timely a manner as possible,” said County Executive Officer Michael Powers. “Like other aspects of our recovery, our Federal and State Legislators and our partners at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and FEMA have once again moved rapidly with us to overcome this unprecedented disaster.”
In the coming days, FEMA representatives will be in the County and City holding local information meetings, as well as opening a local FEMA assistance center to work directly with impacted individuals and businesses. Information will be shared on those meetings and the assistance center as soon as it becomes available. Residents can also apply online for any of these programs at disasterassistance.gov, by phone 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585, or by downloading the app at fema.gov/mobile-app.
“On behalf of our residents, we are truly grateful for FEMA’s rapid reconsideration of our request. This is a major step forward for our residents and local businesses and could not have come at a better time,” said Interim Ventura City Manager Dan Paranick.
Other impacted counties including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego are also covered under this amended declaration.