Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Lucette Moramarco
Staff Writer 

FEMA turns recovery center over to SBA


Last updated 2/2/2018 at 5:32pm

Lucette Moramarco photo

FEMA staff is present at the Disaster Recovery Center Jan. 25

The federal government's aid to local fire victims will no longer be offered in person starting Monday, Feb. 5, as the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) will be left to oversee the recovery when FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) staff members leave.

The Disaster Recovery Center which opened at the Rancho Monserate Community Center Jan. 20 was moved to the Bonsall Community Center Jan. 25. [The decision to move it was made Jan. 24, a day after that week's issue of the Village News went to press.]

With the move, the center went from being a local assistance center to one jointly operated by the State of California's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and FEMA.

Agencies offering their services at the recovery center included the IRS, USDA, Social Security and HUD (Housing and Urban Development).

FEMA announced Jan. 30 that the Disaster Recovery Center will be converted to the Disaster Loan Outreach Center effective Feb. 5 with just SBA representatives left to help residents who suffered losses during the Lilac fire.

Residents will still be able to reach FEMA through its toll-free help line, (800) 621-3362, after that date.

According to FEMA public information officer Victor Inge, 48 residents were helped at the recovery center at Rancho Monserate with another 54 residents being assisted at the community center location by end of day Jan. 29.

As of that date, Inge said FEMA had a total of 2,155 people register for $1.9 million in aid in the four Southern California counties that qualified for disaster recovery funds, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Diego. In San Diego County, there were 190 registrants.

Lucette Moramarco photo

FEMA 1A applicant specialist Clarence Elliott mans the sign in desk at the Disaster Recovery Center in Bonsall. The center will become the Disaster Loan Outreach Center Feb. 5.

Survivors can also apply online for FEMA aid at or by phone at (800) 621-3362 or TTY (800) 462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call (800) 621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is March 16, but survivors are encouraged to apply as early as possible. The Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. as long as it is needed.

SBA public information officer Bill Koontz said the agency is committed to help residents through the March deadline. People who have insurance coverage can apply for loans to cover their deductible Koontz said, and people who did not have any or not enough coverage and need more money can apply for low-interest loans. SBA offers low interest rate federal disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

Besides going to the outreach center for one-on-one help from a SBA representative, fire survivors can apply to SBA online at


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