October 31, 2003

Information You Can Use in This

Time of Need

FEDERAL ASSISTANCE

Officials are taking applications for a wide range of aid to homeowners, small businesses and others who have suffered losses from the fires. Residents and business owners may call (800) 621-3362 or (800) 462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. Phone lines will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said the assistance may include:

* Rental payments for temporary housing for up to three months for displaced home-owners and at least one month for renters. The assistance period can be extended based on individual circumstances.

* Low-interest loans for residential and business losses not fully covered by insurance; up to $200,000 for a primary residence, $40,000 for personal property and renter losses, and $1.5 million for business property.

* Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items and personal property not covered by insurance.

* Grants to help pay for medical costs, funeral expenses, transportation and other disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other governmental or charitable aid programs.

* Up to 26 weeks of unemployment payments for workers who temporarily lose jobs and don’t qualify for state benefits, including the self-employed.

* Loans of up to $1.5 million for small businesses with disaster-related cash-flow problems and up to $500,000 to help farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators cover production and property losses.

* Crisis counseling, income tax assistance for those claiming losses and advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and Social Security issues.

Information you can use

If you suffered a loss

For concerns about your insurance or to find the name of your insurance company, call the California Department of Insurance, (800) 927-4357.

Several major home insurers have sent representatives to evacuation centers to help homeowners with claims, living expenses while evacuated and what to expect during the claims process.

Telephone numbers for claims:

Allstate (800) 547-8676

Auto Club of Southern California (800) 672-5246

California Casualty (800) 800-9410

Farmers (800) 435-7764; Spanish: (877) 732-5266

Fireman’s Fund (888) 347-3428

Liberty Mutual (800) 225-2467

Metlife Home and Auto (800) 422-4272

Nationwide (877) 422-6800

Oregon Mutual (800) 934-3809

Prudential (800) 437-3535

USAA (800) 531-8222

Safeco (800) 332-3226

State Farm (800) 732-5246

Traveler’s (800) 252-4633

21st Century (800) 322-8200

If you’ve lost a pet or large animal

County Department of Animal Services: (619) 236-4250

Animal Rescue Hotline, San Diego Humane: Society

(619) 299-7012, Ext. 2222

If you are stranded

• La Costa Resort and Spa is letting residents of the greater San Diego area who have been displaced by fire spend one night for free. Call (760) 438-9111 for more information. People need to provide proof of their local residency.

• San Diego Marriott in Del Mar will offer residents displaced a 50 percent discount on room rates and complimentary parking. The number is (858) 523-1700.

• Emergency shelters for military families are located at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego Naval Station at 32nd Street and Point Loma Submarine Base and Admiral Kidd Barracks on North Harbor Drive.

•The Jackie Robinson Family YMCA has opened its doors to displaced families. The YMCA is located at 151 YMCA Way, San Diego. Volunteers and supplies will be needed. More details are available at (619) 264-0144.

If you want to donate money to help local victims

The San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross has established a separate “October fires” account to aid victims of the current fires. The organization asks that contributions be sent to: American Red Cross, 3650 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92103. The Red Cross can be reached at (619) 542-7400 or (800) 435-7669.

Return to the Frontpage