The deadline for federal aid for storm damage is three days away
Communities on the Central Coast have been in recovery mode since January 9thousand storms, and the deadline for federal aid is three days away.
Figuring out whether you can apply for financial assistance from FEMA after this year’s rainfall can get a little confusing.
“Speaking of the new declaration. It will be a different event with different declaration numbers, so the events will be independent,” said Arlene Diaz, FEMA media relations specialist.
FEMA said a damage assessment is underway to determine whether a major declaration will be approved and will continue to provide relief for the March flood.
Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in 13 of the state’s 58 counties. On Friday, President Biden approved the declaration, which frees up resources for disaster relief.
Now it’s just a waiting game.
“Declaring a local state of emergency is just one tool in our toolbox to help increase community awareness,” said Whitney Sentesi, public affairs manager for the City of San Luis Obispo.
Some Central Coast cities declared local states of emergency ahead of the storms.
“The City of San Luis Obispo routinely declares a local emergency when there is a credible and serious threat to public health or safety,” Sentesi added.
It may be issued for a number of reasons, including to inform the public of the seriousness of the event.
“It really helps us identify resources and redirect those resources to help with storm or emergency response and relief. It also helps the City of San Luis Obispo get reimbursed by FEMA for all those resources that we diverted during the emergency,” Sentesi explained.
FEMA says homeowners and businesses don’t have to wait to begin the recovery process.
“When we have an event, we encourage people to take photos and videos of the damaged area because they really don’t have to wait for us to do the recovery process so they can start cleaning up and doing the process,” Diaz added.
Sn Luis Obispo city officials are also urging the community to report any storm-related damage.
“It really helps the community as a whole. Eligible for FEMA compensation. The reports that come in and kind of get put together and it’s kind of like a cumulative report that goes to FEMA,” Sentesi said.
FEMA applicants have 60 days to appeal any application that may have been denied. The agency also recommends keeping copies of any receipts associated with the storm recovery process. This information can be provided at the time of application.
FEMA applications can be submitted online, by phone, or through the FEMA app.