The Santa Barbara Independent, a local weekly magazine, reports that, “The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved emergency assistance to compensate individuals and businesses for losses suffered by the Thomas Fire and last week’s flood and mud avalanche. Congressmember Salud Carbajal had lobbied FEMA administrators to approve the assistance, appealing a previous decision by the federal agency to deny it. At that time, FEMA and the Trump administration had only approved compensation for damages sustained by state and local governments” (Welsh, 2018).
This is an important decision for our community as many residents were not required to have flood insurance. FEMA disaster declaration regarding the Thomas Fire is expanded to include damage caused by the devastating mudslide. This allows victims to cover expenses and losses otherwise not covered by their insurance and will hopefully allow individuals to recover lost wages, and businesses to recover losses due to mandatory evacuations.
Rep. Carbajal gave a statement on his website on the deadly mudslide and says, “I will continue to advocate for and provide federal support as long as it takes to recover.” He asks that anyone having difficulties with FEMA should contact his office directly. Santa Barbara office (805) 730-1710.
All individuals who were impacted by the Thomas Fire should apply for FEMA assistance. Please call 1-800-621- FEMA (3362), go online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or visit a Local Assistance Center as soon as possible.
Welsh, N. (2018). FEMA Approves Individual Assistance for Thomas Fire, Montecito Mudslide Victims. Retrieved from http://m.independent.com/news/2018/jan/18/fema-approves-individual-assistance-thomas-fire-mo/
Carbajal.House.org. (2018). Carbajal Statement on Deadly Montecito Mudslides. Retrieved from https://carbajal.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=216