For Immediate Release
OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY
January 13, 2004
Statement on Federal Assistance for California
Statement by the Press Secretary
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of California and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by an earthquake on December 22, 2003, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the county of San Luis Obispo.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding also is available to State and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the earthquake in the counties of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
In addition, Federal funding is available on a cost-share basis for hazard mitigation measures.
Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Peter Martinasco as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
The agency said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.