Monday, May 21 , 2018, 6:26 pm | Fair 65º


Tea Fire Victims Can Click for Federal-State Assistance

Process starts with FEMA registration, either online or by phone.

Santa Barbara County residents whose homes were damaged by the Tea Fire can begin the federal and state assistance process online. Click here to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency or call 800.621.3362. (TTY users can call 800.464.7585.) Wildfire victims from Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties also are eligible.

“Applicants do not have to go to a Local Assistance Center to register for federal and state assistance,” state coordinating officer Tom Maruyama said in a statement Sunday. “They can apply for federal and state aid over the phone or computer. If they have insurance they should call their agent and begin the settlement process, too.”

Residents who have registered with the American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter or other assistance agencies must also register with FEMA for access to federal and state aid. FEMA and the state do not duplicate losses covered by insurance, so it is important to begin the settlement process at the same time.

“Anyone who has been affected by the fires may be eligible, but there’s no way to know if they don’t register,” said federal coordinating officer Mark Neveau. “That’s the first step to qualifying for federal and state assistance.”

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