Thousands register for FEMA Aid in North Bay
By James Lanaras, Bay City News Service
February 24, 2006
The Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that 2,232 households
in Napa, Marin, Solano and Sonoma counties have registered online
or by phone for monetary assistance to recover from the storms
and floods in late December and January.
FEMA spokeswoman Christine May said this afternoon that about
half of those households have visited the six FEMA centers in
the four counties.
Personnel at the centers provide information and assist applicants
in filling out forms. The centers opened on Feb. 9 and 10, and
do not yet have a closing date scheduled, May said.
"We're still encouraging people to register, even if they
unsure what they might be eligible for,'' May said.
She also urged those seeking federal money for flood relief to
first consult their insurance providers because FEMA will not
pay for damages covered by insurance.
The number to register with FEMA is (800) 621-FEMA. Registration
is also available online at http://www.fema.gov.
In Sonoma County, 536 households registered for FEMA relief and
229 households visited the two relief centers in Guerneville and
The county estimated it suffered $104 million in damage from
the storms. FEMA has approved $452,324 in housing assistance and
$146,000 in assistance for other needs that include medical bills,
storage and other disaster relief as of Wednesday for that county,
In Solano County, where $62.6 million in damage was reported,
702 households have registered for federal relief and 285 households
have visited the two centers in Fairfield and Vacaville, May said.
FEMA has approved $1,040,000 in housing assistance and $190,000
for other needs, May said.
Businesses were hit hardest in Napa and Marin counties. The U.S.
Small Business Administration will provide low-interest loans
to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated
In Napa County, 411 households registered with FEMA and 260 of
them visited the FEMA center in Napa. FEMA has approved $195,000
in housing assistance and $71,000 in assistance for other storm-related
relief for that county. Napa County reported $115 million in storm
and flood damage, most of it in the city of Napa.
Marin County officials estimated that the storms caused $110
million in damage. May said 583 Marin households registered for
aid and 219 households visited the FEMA center in San Anselmo.
FEMA has approved $619,000 in housing assistance and $93,000 in
other needs relief in Marin.
All four counties were included in President Bush's disaster
area declaration and are eligible for individual assistance to
residents and business owners, and for public assistance to state
and local governments to repair and replace public facilities.
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