The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) team members have been deployed to key locations, including evacuation shelters, alongside staff from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health who will be assisting FEMA DSA teams in providing information and resources on dealing with trauma as well as referrals for mental health services.
FEMA DSA team members can help direct those impacted by the recent wildfires to sources of assistance and help them register for disaster aid with FEMA. The DSA’s goal is to help ensure that all potentially eligible survivors, especially those who are uninsured or underinsured, are made aware of the assistance available to them. FEMA DSA team members will also assist in identifying ongoing needs, make service referrals to community partners, and address requests for disability-related accommodations.
FEMA DSA team members will be wearing FEMA attire and carry FEMA photo identification (ID). If the photo ID is not displayed, residents are encouraged to ask to see it. Also, the FEMA DSA team members may request the following information from residents impacted by the recent wildfires:
• Address and description of the damaged property
• Information about insurance coverage
• A current contact telephone number and an address where you can receive mail
•Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds
• Social Security number
Residents do not have to wait until they meet with a FEMA DSA team member to register with FEMA or request disability-related accommodations assistance. Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 4 a.m.-7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time seven days a week.
Disaster assistance can include FEMA grants for temporary housing, home repairs and replacement, as well as low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans are available to businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recovery options.
People suffering from mental health distress due to the disaster can also get support with the Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting “TalkWithUs” to 66746. Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s Access Line at 1-800-854-7771 is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide mental health support and resources.
For additional information and status updates about the Woolsey Fire and Los Angeles County’s ongoing response and recovery efforts, visit www.LACounty.gov/WoolseyFire.