White House signs Natural Disaster declaration in Santa Barbara County

Jan 03, 2018
declaration signed

President Trump on Tuesday declared that a natural disaster exists in California and ordered federal assistance to help local agencies in recovery efforts in areas affected by the Thomas fire, which started Dec. 4 and is still burning.

The declaration means that federal funds will be available to state and local governments for emergency work in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, according to a news release from the White House.

President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of California and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires beginning on December 4, 2017, and continuing.

Federal funding is available to the State and to eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the counties of Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named William Roche as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.


To All Businesses in Solvang: 

The recent Thomas Fire has had a significant economic impact on Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley businesses. 

A recent declaration by Governor Jerry Brown has requested President Donald Trump to declare Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties a Major Disaster Area. This declaration would trigger the release of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds and access to Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans for uninsured and economic losses.

 All businesses should contact your insurance carrier to obtain information about what coverage your policy provides for damages resulting from loss of revenue, power outage(s), and ash and smoke cleanup.  Every policy is different, and you should first consult your insurance professional regarding your coverages. 

Businesses may want to apply for FEMA assistance or a Business Insurance Claim due to economic or direct cost associated to the Thomas Fire. You should start documenting the following:

  •   Year over Year monthly Retail Sales Comparison demonstrating fire related sales losses beginning December 4, 2017, e.g., December 2016 vs. December 2017
  •  Cost of ash clean up each day since December 4, 2017 – provide photos if possible
  •  Cost of Cancellations for hotel rooms, restaurant events, etc., since December 4, 2017
  • All Discounts provided to Government personnel that differ from contracted or menu rate
  • Cost of employee absenteeism for those unable to get to work
  •  Economic loss due to the PGE power outage from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, December 13, 2017
  •  Other demonstrable uninsured losses related to the Fire

Documentation is required for any opportunity to recoup losses through FEMA from the Thomas Fire or for any business insurance claim to your carrier.


SBA emergency loans with recourse may be available and businesses must be prepared to show financial statements when or if applying for that product.


Please contact Tracy Beard or Ryan Toussaint with any questions.





Posted in Featured Articles.