President Declares Major Disaster for December Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of California to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires from December 4, 2017 and continuing.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by wildfires in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

William Roche has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Roche said additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments.

Federal Aid Programs for the State of California

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted, under President Donald J. Trump’s disaster declaration issued for the state of California.

Assistance for state, tribal, and affected local governments can include as required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal, and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
    How to Apply for Assistance:

Application procedures for state, tribal, and local governments will be explained at a series of applicant briefings, with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

More Information

Kelly Huston

Kelly is a Deputy Director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). He leads a team of communications professionals working daily on a wide range of public safety issues including disaster mitigation, response and recovery.

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