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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

THOMPSON ANNOUNCES FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FOR TOWNS IMPACTED BY VALLEY FIRE

Oct 9, 2015
Press Release
FEDERAL DOLLARS APPROVED TO HELP COMMUNITIES REPAIR CRITICAL PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) funds will be available to eligible applicants such as state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in Lake County. This is funding for local communities to use to repair critical public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, buildings, water infrastructure and sewage collection facilities. The federal government covers 75 percent of the costs, and the state and locals governments split the remaining 25 percent.  

“The federal response to the Valley Fire has been nothing short of spectacular,” said Thompson. “Working with FEMA and other federal agencies we have been able to rapidly secure funds to help suppress the fire, repair our towns, reopen businesses and rebuild people’s homes. We face a long and hard road back, but this assistance will help make sure we fully recover.” 

Thompson also announced that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance (IA) funds will be available to help individuals rebuild, repair and replace housing and other personal property not covered by insurance.

Thompson wrote to the White House, urging the President to approve IA. Thompson also had conversations with the White House and Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IX Robert J. Fenton, Jr. about the need to quickly expedite the approval of IA.

Individuals can register with FEMA the following ways:

  • Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Apply via smartphone at m.fema.gov.
  • Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

Additionally, Thompson announced that low-interest Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are now available to help businesses and residents impacted by the Valley Fire. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Hazard Mitigation (HM) Funds have also made available. These funds provide assistance to the state for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

FEMA previously approved the State of California’s request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration for the Valley Fire. The Fire Management Assistance Grant Program (FMAGP) allows for the “mitigation, management, and control” of fires burning on publicly or privately owned forest or grasslands which threaten such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.

The FEMA grant will cover 75 percent of the costs for various fire suppression, safety and recovery needs. Eligible costs include:

  • Costs for equipment and supplies
  • Costs for emergency work  such as evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control, arson investigation);
  • Costs for State emergency operations center
  • Costs for the pre-positioning of Federal, out-of-State, and international resources for up to 21 days
  • Cost of personal comfort and safety items for firefighter health and safety
  • Costs for field camps and meals
  • Costs for mobilization and demobilization costs
  • Costs for the temporary repair of damage cause by firefighting activities
  • Costs for the mitigation, management, and control of declared fires burning on co-mingled Federal land, when such costs are not reimbursable by another Federal agency.

The Valley Fire, which started on September 12, 2015 has burned nearly 80,000 acres. The fire destroyed more than 1,900 structures, including more than 1,200 homes. Thousands of people have been displaced.

 

Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.  He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.

 

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