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NEWSROOM | Multimedia | California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
Updated: 23 min 26 sec ago

¡Defiéndase contra el fraude!

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 18:20

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Si usted, posterior a los incendios de octubre, no se ha inscrito con la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA, por sus siglas en inglés), pero FEMA  o la Agencia Federal para el Desarrollo de la Pequeña Empresa de los Estados Unidos (SBA, por sus siglas en inglés), le han contactado por teléfono o por correo, es muy probable que sus datos personales hayan sido comprometidos.

Este año ha aumentado el número de solicitudes fraudulentas. FEMA está notificando a los sobrevivientes y ha implantado verificaciones y controles adicionales en los casos que presenten actividad sospechosa. La agencia se ha comprometido a garantizar que todas las reclamaciones de asistencia de los solicitantes elegibles se revisen y se procesen debidamente.

Si usted sospecha que sus datos personales hayan sido comprometidos, comuníquese immediatamente con FEMA al 800-621-3362 o al 800-462-7585 para los usarios de TTY. Los solicitantes que utilizan 711 o los servicios de retransmisión por video (VRS) pueden llamar al 800-621-3362. También pueden visitar el centro de recuperación por desastre o centro de asistencia local más cercano para reportar sus sospechas.

FEMA también le recomienda que usted verifique que su reporte de crédito no tenga ninguna cuenta o cambio que no reconozca. Si usted descubre que alguien está utilizando sus datos, necesitará tomar medidas adicionales que incluyen presentar una queja ante la Comisión Federal de Comercio (FTC, por sus siglas en inglés) a través de su sitio web: RobodeIdentidad.gov

Manténgase alerta y protéjase contra el fraude y el robo de identidad.

Disaster Recovery/Local Assistance Centers Closed Thanksgiving; New Hours Start Monday, Nov. 20

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 14:58

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The five Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma and Yuba counties, and the Local Assistance Center (LAC) in Napa County will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Hours of operation will change beginning Monday, Nov. 20.

 

Napa County LAC, HHSA Admin. Bldg. A, 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa 94558

Hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday

 

Lake County DRC, Clearlake Senior Community Center, 3245 Bowers Ave., Clearlake 95422

Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday

 

Mendocino County DRC, 1375 N. State St., Ukiah 95482

Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday

 

Sonoma County DRC, Hanna Boys Center, 17000 Arnold Drive, Sonoma 95476

Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday

 

Sonoma County DRC, Press Democrat Bldg., 427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa 95401

Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

 

Yuba County DRC, County Administration Office, 915 Eighth St. #117, Marysville 95901

Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday

 

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the California Office of Emergency Management (Cal OES), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and other agencies staff the centers. Residents of the designated counties – Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yubacan seek help at any of the six centers.

To find the closest DRC, go online at fema.gov/drc or text 43362 with the message DRC and the resident’s ZIP Code. Standard message and data rates apply.

Before visiting a center, survivors are encouraged to apply for disaster assistance by going online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by using the FEMA app on a smart phone or by calling 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call

800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

 

Applicants registering for disaster assistance should have the following information available:

  • Social Security number.
  • Address of the damaged primary residence.
  • Description of the damage.
  • Information about insurance coverage.
  • A current contact telephone number.
  • An address where they can receive mail.
  • Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.

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Disaster Unemployment Assistance Deadline Extended for Californians Affected by Recent Wildfires

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 14:00

SACRAMENTO – The Employment Development Department (EDD) today announced that individuals whose jobs were affected by the October wildfires now have until December 18, 2017, to file for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The previous deadline was November 16.

“We encourage anyone whose employment was affected by the devastating wildfires to apply for unemployment assistance as soon as possible,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning. “These benefits provide financial support in a time of need.”

As announced by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on October 17, DUA provides temporary unemployment benefits to jobless workers and self-employed people whose jobs or work hour losses are a direct result of the fires.

The EDD will first check to see if applicants can qualify for regular state unemployment benefits, and if not, process the claim for federal disaster benefits. Business owners or self-employed individuals who are ineligible for state unemployment benefits may qualify for DUA. Those whose unemployment benefits have run out, but are still unemployed due to the disaster, may also file a claim for DUA.

DUA applies to losses beginning the week of October 15, 2017, for qualifying individuals in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma, and Yuba counties. Eligible workers can receive benefits of up to $450 a week for a maximum period of 26 weeks.

Workers who are potentially eligible for DUA benefits meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Worked or were self-employed, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment, in the disaster area.
  • Cannot reach work because of the disaster or can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster.
  • Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster.
  • Became the head of their households because of a death caused by the disaster.
  • Have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or who do not qualify for unemployment benefits.

President Trump’s federal disaster declaration of October 10, 2017, opened the way for DUA benefits.

To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed. Required documentation includes a Social Security number and a copy of the most recent federal income tax form or check stubs, or documentation to support that the individuals were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. Such documentation for the self-employed can be obtained from banks or government entities, or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their business.

The fastest and easiest way for people to apply for DUA is to use EDD’s online application, “eApply4UI”, which is available in both English and Spanish.

Claimants also can file for DUA by phone between 8 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday through Friday:

  • English: 1-800-300-5616
  • Spanish: 1-800-326-8937
  • Chinese (Cantonese): 1-800-547-3506
  • Chinese (Mandarin): 1-866-303-0706
  • Vietnamese: 1-800-547-2058

The EDD administers the federal disaster-benefits program in California for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

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Defend Yourself Against Fraud!

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 13:30

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – If you did not register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following the October fires, but you are being contacted by phone or mail by FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), it’s a good bet your personal information has been compromised.

There has been a surge in fraudulent registrations this year. FEMA is notifying survivors and instituting additional verification and controls in cases where there was suspicious activity. The agency is committed to ensuring all claims for assistance from eligible applicants are reviewed and processed appropriately.

If you suspect your personal information has been compromised, immediately get in touch with FEMA at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 for TTY users. Applicants who use VRS or 711 can call 800-621-3362. You can also visit the nearest disaster recovery center or local assistance center to report your suspicions.

FEMA also recommends you monitor your credit report for any accounts or changes you do not recognize. If you discover someone is using your information, you will need to take additional steps, including filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission through their website: IdentityTheft.gov.

Stay vigilant and protect yourself against identity theft and fraud.

INSIDE LOOK: Recovery from October 2017 Wildfires Well Underway, Making Great Progress

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 20:39

It’s a massive undertaking; that is no understatement. The most destructive wildfire siege the state of California has ever witnessed literally, without remorse, demonstrated a scorched earth policy. But now that the smoke has long-since cleared and locals have joined state and federal forces, recovery has a firm hold on areas devastated by fire.

This episode of Inside Look shows you what impact winter storms are already having, how one county finds itself recovering from its fourth disaster in a row, and how state and federal officials view progress.

Links

SoCoAlert.com

WildfireRecovery.org

One Month Left to Apply for SBA Disaster Loans

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:02

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West today reminded California private nonprofit organizations of the Dec. 18, 2017, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury caused by severe winter storms, flooding and mudslides that occurred Jan. 18-23, 2017. Private nonprofits that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance.

According to Garfield, eligible private nonprofits of any size may apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. “Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the private nonprofit suffered any property damage,” Garfield said.

These low-interest federal disaster loans are available in Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Trinity, Tuolumne and Yolo counties.

The interest rate is 2.5 percent with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

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SBA Tops $30 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 14:38

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West announced today that SBA has approved more than $30 million in federal disaster loans for California businesses and residents impacted by wildfires in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba counties that occurred Oct. 8-31, 2017.

According to Garfield, SBA has approved 218 loans for $30,135,600 to help businesses and residents rebuild and recover from this disaster.

“SBA’s disaster assistance employees are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild as quickly as possible,” said Garfield. Businesses and residents who sustained damages are encouraged to register prior to the Dec. 11, 2017, deadline with the Federal Emergency Management Agency by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. This is the fastest way to get help. “Don’t miss out on any assistance you may be entitled to by not registering. You don’t need to wait for your insurance to settle or obtain a contractor’s estimate,” she added.

SBA continues to provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants at the following locations on the days and times indicated. No appointment is necessary.

LAKE COUNTY

Disaster Recovery Center

Clearlake Senior Community Center

3245 Bowers Ave.

Clearlake, CA  95422

Mondays – Sundays

9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

MENDOCINO COUNTY

Disaster Recovery Center

1375 N. State St.

Ukiah, CA  95482

Mondays – Sundays

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. NAPA COUNTY

Local Assistance Center

2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive

Building A

Napa, CA  94558

Mondays – Fridays, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

SONOMA COUNTY

Business Recovery Center

The Courtyard

141 Stony Circle, Suite 155

Santa Rosa, CA  95401

Monday – Wednesday

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Closes 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15

SONOMA COUNTY

Disaster Recovery Center

Press Democrat Building

427 Mendocino Ave.

Santa Rosa, CA  95401

Mondays – Sundays

9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

SONOMA COUNTY

Disaster Recovery Center

Hanna Boys Center

17000 Arnold Drive

Sonoma, CA  95476

Mondays – Sundays

9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

YUBA COUNTY

Disaster Recovery Center

Yuba County Government Center

Marysville Conference Room

915 8th St., Suite 117

Marysville, CA  95901

Mondays – Sundays

10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to help business and residents with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace their damaged or destroyed primary residence. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for property damage is Dec. 11, 2017. The deadline to apply for economic injury is July 12, 2018.

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Register With FEMA Even If You Have Insurance

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 14:30

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – If you suffered personal or business losses in the devastating wildfires that broke out in October and you’re waiting for your insurance settlement before you register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), don’t wait any longer. Disaster assistance may be able to fill insurance gaps or provide help if you’ve been waiting more than 30 days on a homeowner’s claim. Another reason not to delay: the deadline for registering with FEMA is Dec. 11, 2017.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if you have registered with another disaster-relief organization, such as the American Red Cross. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance or other benefits. However, FEMA may be able to help with uninsured or underinsured losses if the insurance settlement is delayed. FEMA may also be able to help:

  • If you have received the settlement from the insurance company but you still have unmet needs.
  • If you have exhausted the settlement for Additional Living Expenses (ALE for loss of use) and you need disaster-related temporary housing.
  • If your settlement does not cover disaster-related needs such as medical, dental and funeral costs, emergency home repairs and other disaster-related expenses.

If your settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days, you may write FEMA to explain your situation. Provide insurance documentation to prove you’ve submitted your claim, including the claim number, the date you applied and how long you estimate it will take for the company to settle, and mail your letter to:

          FEMA – Individuals & Households Program

          National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-70155

Or fax it to 800-827-8112.

You should also register with FEMA if your wells or septic systems were damaged in the fires. Homeowners in the eight designated counties – Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba – may be eligible for grant funding to pump septic tanks, perform required repairs or replace the system as needed. Damaged private wells that are the sole source of water for the home and need to be repaired or decontaminated are also potentially eligible.

Survivors who applied for assistance from FEMA and were contacted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have many good reasons to submit a loan application before the deadline of Dec. 11, 2017.

Some of the key reasons for submitting an SBA low-interest disaster loan application include:

  • SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. Renters, as well as homeowners, may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, appliances and damaged vehicles.
  • A future insurance settlement may fall short. Survivors may find out that they are underinsured for the amount of work it takes to repair or replace their damaged home. An SBA low-interest disaster loan can cover the uninsured costs. SBA may approve a loan for the repair or replacement of a home up to $200,000. The loan balance may be reduced by their insurance settlement. However, the opportunity for an SBA loan may be lost if they wait until after the deadline expires on 11, 2017.
  • If SBA determines the survivors aren’t eligible for a loan, SBA may refer them back to FEMA. This could make them eligible for more FEMA assistance.

If those affected by the wildfires need help completing their loan application they should call SBA at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. They are encouraged to apply online using SBA’s electronic loan application at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. They may also come in to any recovery center. A list of open centers may be found at www.sba.gov/disaster.

Survivors are advised to contact FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by phone at        800-621-3362.  TTY users should call 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. These toll-free numbers operate 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, and are staffed by operators ready to assist survivors in their languages.

For more information on California recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4344,   Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/femaregion9 and the Cal OES website, http://www.caloes.ca.gov/ .

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All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

Santa Rosa Assistant Fire Marshal Signs ROE, Himself Beginning to Recover

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 19:44

He may be in uniform but today Santa Rosa Assistant Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthal is just like any one of the more than six thousand homeowners here. “This was the entryway,” he says, walking over what used to be the front threshold.

Beginning on Sunday night, October 8, the Tubbs fire ripped through Sonoma county, and destroyed his home. There’s nothing left to salvage, though he found a few things he’ll keep. “Kind of old badges from throughout my career,” he says, while shuffling through the half-dozen or so charred badges.

As a firefighter, Paul understands how this happened. He knows the goal was to protect his community and that most of the other homes in his Larkfield community would burn. Now the question everyone is pondering – will they rebuild? “Yes, I do plan on rebuilding,” he says.

One of the first steps in that process is to clear all this hazardous and toxic debris from the property, and that includes slab foundations. “It sat and smoldered for days, and there’s evidence of that.” It’s cracking and crumbling. “I know that my structure is a complete loss, my foundation is not salvageable and that there’s a process in place that’s going to clean and clear as many properties as quickly as possible it was the right decision to make.”

Today, Paul Lowenthal is making his first trip to the ROE center. He’s talked with his insurance company and decided it’s in his best interest to fill-out, sign and turn-in the right-of-entry form, the ROE. This will allow the us army corps of engineers to do the clearing for him at no out-of-pocket cost to him.

“Hopefully we’ll see a lot of ROEs in our areas that’ll allow the Army Corps of Engineers to quickly and efficiently do a lot of good work,” says Lowenthal. “And it’ll also give me time to focus on other things and work towards my rebuilding, working with an architect, with a designer, a builder and continue moving forward with my own recovery process.”  As an assistant fire marshal, he knows what the intense and sustained heat from the fire has done to his foundation, so it goes. And the more ROE’s that come in the faster and better his entire community’s recovery will be.

“Ultimately get our community back to where it was if not better. It’s just going to take time.”

REMEMBER: The deadline to file your Right of Entry form is November 13th. Links

WildfireRecovery.org

SonomaCountyRecovers.org

Cal OES Home Page

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Sacramento Dist.)

Right-of-Entry Clock is Ticking in Sonoma County, Other Counties Hit by October Wildfires

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 17:31

The stress of losing one’s home only starts with the rubble left behind. Survivors’ resilience is now being tested by the long and arduous task of rebuilding their lives. John McCaull, a resident of Glen Ellen says, “it’s actually been my job mission over the last two weeks to figure this whole thing out.” That’s why a “right of entry” center like this one has been established in each of the counties affected by the October wildfires. “Right of entry,” or ROE, is a form that once completed and signed by the homeowner allows contractors onto their property to remove all that fire debris, and clean the land of any toxics.

With that form comes a lot of questions and that’s the reason for the centers. “The hardest part was finding it,” says Ruth O’Connor, who lost her home in Larkfield. “Once we found it, went in had a five-minute wait until somebody put us behind a computer the guy was just helpful.” Like Ruth, everyone here is a wildfire victim. But they each have a unique situation.

Eric Pearson of Glen Ellen is the anchor tenant for a ranch that lost 4 homes. “Sure, four houses can get cleaned up pretty easily. They’re 1500 square feet each. But we’ve got 50,000 square feet of barn with old chemicals and toxic chemicals, that needs to be cleaned up too.” Other property owners were hit more than once. John McCaull has multiple properties all over Sonoma county that burned to the ground. He’s got his signed ROE form firmly in hand. “So initially did you have any reservations about signing one of these?” we asked him. He responded “Well, I’m an attorney so I looked it over and not really.”

But many do have reservations and by coming to the roe center questions are answered. “Ruth, did they answer all of your questions? Yes, he did. He was very knowledgeable. It wasn’t his first rodeo,” said Ruth. And those that can’t be answered immediately will be researched by staff and then relayed to the property owner by phone. This center is open 7-days a week, 9-6, but they won’t be here forever; time is ticking.

“This process is going to be coming to an end so we do need them to start making those decisions quickly,” urged Christine Sosko, Director of Environmental Health for Sonoma County. “So if they have questions come down talk to us.”

Ruth left the ROE center with a smile on her face; her future can now begin. “We’ll start rebuilding process and start all over again.”

“So we can’t stress enough the importance of coming down to the ROE center, not only to get that form, get it filled out and turned in, but also to answer any of those questions you may have,” says Shawn Boyd, public information officer for Cal OES. “A lot of the questions that are out there are happening because the information is changing so quickly. well, these folks here are updated continuously so they have that real-time information, those answers that you’re looking for.”

Links

WildfireRecover.org

SonomaCountyRecovers.org

caloes.ca.gov

UPDATED: Local Assistance Centers are Available for Wildfire Victims

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 18:53

Several Local Assistance Centers (LAC) or Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) remain open to serve the communities and individuals that were impacted by the devastating wildfires.

The LAC or DRC provides a single facility at which individuals, families and businesses can access available disaster assistance programs and services. The following is a list of locations for LACs or DRCs. Services will vary by location. Local, county, state and federal representation will vary by location as well.

Representation may include, but is not limited to: Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Federal Emergency Management Agency, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, Contractors State License Board, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Insurance, Employment Development Department, Franchise Tax Board, Veterans Affairs, California Department of Social Services – State Supplemental Grant Program, Housing and Community Development upon need in each individual county.

Other services and in-person representation by agencies may be available, please check ahead of time with your Local Assistance Center or Disaster Recovery Center.

Individuals who are interested in finding out more information about eligibility other assistance programs should call or register at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585 or visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

Lake County
Clearlake Community Center
3245 Bowers Ave, Clearlake

Hours: 10a-7p Daily Mendocino County
1375 N. State Street
Ukiah

Hours: 10a-7p Daily Napa County
2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive
Building A, Napa

Hours: 10a-7p Monday – Friday

10a-5p Saturday

Closed Sundays Sonoma County
Press Democrat Building
427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

Hours: 9a-7p Daily ​Disaster Recovery Center
Hanna Boys Center
17000 Arnold Drive, Sonoma

Hours: 9a-7p Daily Disaster Recovery Center
Yuba County Govt. Center
915 8th Street, Marysville

Hours: 9a-7p Daily

INSIDE LOOK: Recovery & Remembrance from Devastating Wildfires

Sat, 11/04/2017 - 18:50

Watch Video Here if Not Showing Above: https://youtu.be/Nb9_HiLDIlI

WATCH AND SHARE on your Facebook Timeline – Click Here https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOES/videos/1481858838536770/

On this edition of Inside Look. It was the deadliest week of wildfires in California’s history.

We go back to some of the hardest hit neighborhoods and show you signs of hope already rising from the ashes.

We hear from residents who are lining up to take the next steps toward rebuilding.

We talk with the state’s top emergency manager about the recovery process.

And, we never forget.

[SHOW BEGINS] I’m Brian May, thanks for joining us. It was the deadliest week in California wildfire history. 8900 structures burned. 43 people dead and now begins a time of healing. A time of recovery. A time to rebuild.

[Music bagpipes] On Saturday of this past week a day of remembrance was held at Santa Rosa Junior College. The program included a moving bell ceremony. One toll for each of the lives lost and it included first-hand accounts of what it was like for the first responders there that night.

This event giving residents of Sonoma County a chance to meet face to face with those first responders, to say thanks, offer handshakes and hugs.

[Sonoma Sheriff Robert Giordano] “Overwhelming support. Just amazing. I mean I have stories I can’t even… I’ve heard like three of them I’ve heard 3% of the stories and I could talk for hours about the things the neighbor that rescued the neighbor the neighbor that carried their neighbor out. The neighbor that got the neighbors horses out. You know, it’s just endless the kind of work that was done to protect people here and it shows when you look at how many lives were saved.”

[Fire Chief] “So Rob brought up dispatch. I’m gonna share a one little story they are the unsung heroes. So they’re they’re sending us to calls for service, and I’ll tell you when they’re on the phone and they got someone on the other line saying ‘there is fire everywhere and I can’t get out’ they say we’re gonna get somebody to you. And, when they hear on the other line that we can’t get to them, those dispatchers stay on the line with everyone until the line goes silent.” [voice breaking with emotion]

[Bryan May] One of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the fires was Coffey Park in Santa Rosa. Overnight almost the entire neighborhood gone. Don Millerick has lived in Coffey Park for 41 years, but on the Saturday we met him, he had come back to salvage what was left of the two vintage cars that were in his garage when the fire just ripped through his house and the 40 year old redwoods that once stood proud in his backyard.

Millerick, like many of his neighbors, said after discussing his debris removal options with his insurance agent he knew that signing the Right of Entry form was the way to go.

[Don Millerick] “I think I’m gonna, yeah, pretty sure, yeah I talked to the insurance guy and he said there was an X number of dollars in my policy for cleaning up and he said that sounds like a bargain to him. Yeah, so that’s probably the way to go right now. I’m just relieved that I got the few things that I wanted out of here and I know now it’s probably gonna take, you know, looks like it’ll be weeks before you see an awful lot of activity out here. But I know the hazmat guys have already started and that’s a mandatory operation right.”

[Bryan May] There are two phases to the cleanup of property. The first phase, the removal of household hazardous waste. Items like propane tanks, pesticides, paint.

The second phase is the actual debris removal, and the only way that process can start, if you opt to have the state do it for you, is to sign the Right of Entry form.

Cleanup crews have been mobilized and are ready to go, but the first step begins with a signed Right of Entry form.

[Mark Ghilarducci] “It’s really important that the sooner we can get the debris cleared from these lots, the faster we can begin the recovery process within the community. People can feel like they’re beginning the recovery process. There is action taking place moving forward. 

And look, we know winter’s coming. This is the biggest disaster in loss of structures in totality that we have seen in in recent times and there’s no time to sort of dilly-dally on this. We need to work very decisively, and we need to move rapidly to get our community back up.

What our goal is to address the needs of the people that have lost. Make sure our local communities rebound and the economy gets back operational. And, that we rebuild in a positive, safe and secure manner.”

[Bryan May] We know that many of you still have questions about those right of entry forms. So here to shed some light on what they are, and where to get those questions answered, here’s Shawn Boyd.

[Shawn Boyd] About a hundred people a day make their way to the “ROE Center” here at 625 Fifth Street in Santa Rosa. It is the first big step that they need to take to get their homes rebuilt and their lives back to normal. [sounds of debris sifting] The stress of losing one’s home only starts with the rubble left behind. Survivors’ resilience is now being tested by the long and arduous task of rebuilding their lives.

[John McCall] “It’s actually been my job mission over the last two weeks is to figure this whole thing out.”

[Shawn Boyd] That’s why a right of entry center, like this one, has been established in each of the counties affected by the October wildfires. “Right of Entry,” or ROE, is a form that, once completed and signed by the homeowner, allows contractors onto their property to remove all that fire debris and clean the land of any toxics.

With that form comes a lot of questions and that’s the reason for the centers.

[Ruth O’Connor] “The hardest part was finding it. Once we found it, it was… Went in had a five minute wait until somebody put us behind a computer. The guy was just helpful…”

[Shawn Boyd] Like Ruth O’Connor from Larkfield, everyone here is a wild fire victim. But they each have a unique situation.

Eric Pearson of Glen Ellyn is the anchor tenant for a ranch that lost four homes.

[Eric Pearson] “Sure. Four houses can get cleaned up pretty easily they’re 1,500 square feet each but we’ve got 50,000 square foot of barn with old chemicals and toxic and that needs to be cleaned up too.”

[Shawn Boyd] Other property owners were hit more than once. John McCall has multiple properties all over Sonoma County that burned to the ground. He’s got his signed ROE form firmly in hand.

[Shawn Asks a Question] So initially did you have any reservations about about signing one of those?

[John McCall] “Well, I’m an attorney so I looked it over and not really…”

[Shawn Boyd] But many do have reservations, and by coming to the ROE Center, questions are answered.

[Shawn Asks a Question] Did they answer all of your questions?

[Ruth O’Connor] “Yes he did. He was very knowledgeable. It wasn’t his first rodeo.”

[Shawn Boyd] And those that can’t be answered immediately will be researched by staff and then relayed to the property owner by phone. This Center is open seven days a week, nine to six, but they won’t be here forever time is ticking.

[Sonoma County Official] “This process is going to be coming to an end, and so we do need them to start making those decisions quickly. So if they have questions, come down and talk to us.”

[Shawn Boyd] Ruth left the ROE Center with a smile on her face. Her future can now begin.

[Ruth O’Conner] “We’ll start rebuilding process and start all over again.”

[Shawn Boyd] So we can’t stress enough the importance of coming down to the ROE Center. Not only to get that form, get it filled out and turned in, but also to answer any of those questions you may have. A lot of the questions that are out there are happening because the information is changing so quickly. Well these folks here are updated continuously, so they have that real-time information – those answers that you’re looking for. Back to you.

[Bryan May] Shawn, thank you. The path of destruction for these wildfires spared nothing that includes hundreds of schools that were affected either by fire damage, smoke damage, or in many cases, it just wasn’t safe for students and staff to get there. But that is not the case today. Jonathan Gudel was part of a school’s task force at Cal OES. He has an update.

[Jonathan Gudel] Thanks Brian. Students in Sonoma County were out of school for weeks. It wasn’t because of a holiday break and certainly not because of the reasons they would prefer. Not even the place where kids come to learn to play with their friends was spared from devastating wildfires that ravaged Northern California communities. Thousands of students were impacted and hundreds of schools were closed.

[Juan Mireles, California Department of Education] “Unfortunately, there were a lot of schools affected. not just the schools but the students the parents of teachers the community. At its peak, there were approximately 650 schools that were closed affecting about 290 thousand students.”

[Jonathan Gudel] Coordination from state local and federal partners worked quickly to put students back on campus – either at their previous school or an alternate site.

[Juan Mireles, California Department of Education] “There’s still concerns. Once again, opening the schools that remain closed and being able to clean a debris and reconstruct so that they can open up those schools again.”

[Jonathan Gudel] All students are now back in school.

[Bryan May] By the time the October wildfires were contained they had burned over eight thousand nine hundred structures across multiple counties. But recovery is already underway. With more on that, here’s Monica Vargas.

[Monica Vargas] California is on its way to recovery. Helping all whose lives are changed by the fires remains a top priority for the state. Agencies continue to work around the clock to help these community begin rebuilding and progress is being made. So what does recovery look like?

Let’s take a look at assistance centers. Sonoma County has a Local Assistance Center, Disaster Recovery Center and Business Recovery Center available. Napa County has a Local Assistance Center. Mendocino County has a Disaster Recovery Center. Lake County, Disaster Recovery Center. Yuba County, Disaster Recovery Center and that one is also serving Butte and Nevada counties. Nevada County also has a Disaster Loan Outreach Center as does Butte County.

All together, almost 15,000 households have been served by these current centers. When it comes to cleanup efforts, household hazardous waste cleanup has begun in Sonoma County. 3091 parcels have been completed. Napa 309. Mendocino 160. Lake 143 which is all of them. Yuba 173. Nevada all 39 are completed.

The figures are encouraging and the numbers will continue to grow. For resource center locations, dates and times, or for any other questions you may have go to wildfire recovery dot org. Stay tuned for more updates as we keep moving forward on the road to recovery. Bryan?

[Bryan May] Monica, thank you. And one last reminder – If you live in one of the areas affected by the wildfires, visit your Local Assistance Centers. They’re there to answer the questions that you may have. Also monitor your local county agencies. They’ve got great information. And, we’ve put together all the counties on our website. It is www.wildfirerecovery.org.

We leave you now with some of the lasting images over the last 30 days.

[Music and News Reporter Talking] “…this fire has crossed the highway several times in the last couple hours.”

[music] [Sonoma Sheriff Robert Giordano] “People ran from their homes in the middle of the night while their cars were on fire so many people made it through this and were saved and rescued and got out.”

[music] [Don Millerick pointing to his burned lot] “…that was all engulfed over there and it was coming this way.”

[music] [Sonoma Sheriff Robert Giordano] “…we lost lives in this and thousands lost their homes. People lost their family members. They lost their friends.”

[Speaker at podium] “We are a community of heroes after this experience.”

[Bill Withers – ‘Lean on Me’ song by Choir] “…lean on me, when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend… I’ll help you carry on.”

[Mark Ghilarducci] “You are not alone. We will recover. We will rebuild. And, we will come back stronger together.”

[music continues to play] [Choir] “…call me. call me… Call me.”

[Cheering and clapping with appreciation – END OF SHOW]

For more information, visit www.WildfireRecovery.org

 

Governor Brown, California Congressional Delegation Request $7.4 Billion in Federal Disaster Relief Funding to Aid Wildfire Recovery

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 13:02

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined California’s two U.S. Senators and 39 members of the California congressional delegation to request $7.4 billion in federal funding for wildfire relief and recovery efforts in California. Governor Brown also expedited more than $40 million in state aid for immediate recovery efforts.

The letter from the Governor and members of the state’s Congressional delegation, sent to the White House today, urges the President and Congress to work quickly to adopt a third supplemental disaster-related appropriations bill to support the state as it recovers from October’s devastating wildfires that killed 43 people and destroyed approximately 8,900 residential and commercial structures.

This $7.4 billion in federal funding would flow to a variety of federal cleanup, recovery and assistance programs and support housing, transportation, agriculture, environmental protection, local health services, long-term recovery planning, reconstruction and small businesses. 

Separately today, Governor Brown directed the California Department of Finance to expedite the allocation of $41.5 million in funding to help support immediate needs in impacted areas, including cleanup, hazardous waste removal and assistance for Californians impacted by the fires who are not eligible for federal aid. 

Under the state appropriation, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will dedicate $35 million to debris removal and cleanup efforts, while the California Department of Toxic Substances Control will direct $1.5 million to support hazardous waste cleanup operations. This funding will support debris removal and household hazardous waste cleanup at lots impacted by the fires. Household hazardous waste has already been removed from more than 3,000 lots and debris removal is starting across the impacted counties.

The appropriation also includes $5 million – managed by the California Department of Social Services – to aid wildfire victims who are not eligible to receive federal disaster assistance because of their immigration status. The funds will help these individuals and families affected by the fires with food, housing, utility and other expenses. 

During the wildfire disaster last month, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency for the counties of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange and secured a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support the state and local response to the fires, within 24 hours of making the request. Federal direct aid was also secured for residents of Napa, Sonoma, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Yuba, Orange and Nevada counties who suffered losses due to the fires as well as Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits for workers in these counties who lost jobs or had work hours substantially reduced as a result of the fires. Governor Brown also issued an executive order to help cut red tape and streamline recovery efforts in impacted communities and last Saturday declared a “Day of Remembrance of the Northern California Fires” in recognition of victims and first responders.

Additional information on California’s wildfire emergency response and recovery efforts is available at: http://wildfirerecovery.org.  

SBA to Open Business Recovery Center in Santa Rosa to Help Businesses Impacted by the Wildfires

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:34

SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Napa/Sonoma Small Business Development Center today announced the opening of a business recovery center in Santa Rosa to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by the wildfires that began Oct 8, 2017. The center will open as indicated below.

“Due to the severe property damage and economic losses the wildfires inflicted on businesses in California, we want to provide every available service to help get them back on their feet,” said Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. “The center will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help. SBA customer service representatives and SBDC business advisors will be available to meet individually with each business owner,” she added. No appointment is necessary. All services are provided free of charge.

SONOMA COUNTY

Business Recovery Center

The Courtyard

141 Stony Circle, Suite 155

Santa Rosa, CA  95401

Opens 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2

Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

“SBA customer service representatives will meet with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. They will answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their electronic loan application,” Garfield said.

According to Napa/Sonoma SBDC Director Mary Cervantes, SBDC business advisors at the center will provide business assistance to clients on a wide variety of matters designed to help small business owners re-establish their operations, overcome the effects of the disaster and plan for their future. “Services include assessing business working capital needs, evaluating the business’s strength, cash flow projections, and most importantly, a review of options with the business owner to help them evaluate their alternatives and make decisions that are appropriate for their situation,” she said.

According to Garfield, businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. These loans cover losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Business owners may also apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or get help from SBA representatives at any Disaster Recovery Center in Texas. Disaster loan information is also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877‑8339. For more disaster assistance information, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

 

Abre Centro de Recuperación por Desastre en el Condado de Mendocino

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:43

Sacramento — Ha abierto en el Condado de Mendocino un Centro de Recuperación por Desastre (DRC, por sus siglas en inglés), manejado en conjunto por la Oficina de Servicios de Emergencia del Estado de California (Cal OES, por sus siglas en inglés) y la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA, por sus siglas en inglés), en el que se ofrece asistencia integral por desastre a los habitantes afectados por los incendios devastadores de octubre de 2017.

El centro, ubicado en la 1375 N. State St., Ukiah, CA, 95482, está abierto de 10 a.m. a 7 p.m., los siete días de la semana.

En el DRC se encuentran presentes representantes de FEMA, del estado de California, de la Agencia Federal para el Desarrollo de la Pequeña Empresa y de otras agencias. Los habitantes de cualquiera de los condados designados para asistencia individual –Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma y Yuba – pueden buscar ayuda en el DRC de Mendocino.

Antes de ir al DRC, se pide a los sobrevivientes que soliciten en línea en DisasterAssistance.gov/es o por teléfono al 800-621-3362 o al (TTY) 800-462-7585. Los solicitantes que utilizan 711 o los servicios de retransmisión por video pueden llamar al 800-621-3362. Las líneas libres de cargos están abiertas de 7 a. m. a 10 p. m., los siete días de la semana.

Los solicitantes deben tener a mano la siguiente información:

  • Número de Seguro Social.
  • Dirección de la residencia primaria
  • Descripción del daño.
  • Información sobre la cobertura del seguro.
  • Un número de teléfono de contacto actual.
  • Una dirección en la que puedan recibir el correo.
  • Números de cuenta y de ruta del banco en el que se recibirían los depósitos directos de los fondos.

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Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Mendocino County

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 15:37

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), jointly operated by the State of California’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has opened in Mendocino County, to offer residents affected by the devastating October 2017 wildfires a one-stop-shop for disaster assistance.

The center is located at 1375 N. State St., Ukiah, CA, 95482. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. The center offers a continuation of services from a previous location at Mendocino College.

Staffing the DRC are representatives from FEMA, Cal OES, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies. Residents of any of the designated counties – Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Orange, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma and Yuba – can seek help at the Mendocino County DRC.

Before visiting the DRC, survivors are encouraged to apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov 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 10p.m. seven days a week.

Applicants should have the following information at hand :

• Social Security number.

• Address of the damaged primary residence.

• Description of the damage.

• Information about insurance coverage.

• A current contact telephone number.

• An address where they can receive mail.

• Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.

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Wildfire Cleanup Efforts Requiring Multi-Agency Response

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 13:45

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working with local, state and federal partners on the response to the Northern California fires. EPA is leading the survey, collection and disposal of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) in Sonoma and Napa counties. This work will allow other state and federal agencies to remove ash and other non-hazardous debris and the rebuilding process to begin.

Specifically, EPA teams are conducting air monitoring and visual observations to identify locations of HHW and other hazardous materials and containers, and to ensure safe conditions. Once properties are surveyed, HHW collection teams are removing the materials identified during the surveys. These materials will be taken to temporary staging areas before disposal at hazardous waste facilities. EPA will continue to expand survey and collection operations in coming weeks.

HHW includes leftover household products that are unstable, corrosive or toxic. Products such as paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, herbicides and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special handling and disposal.

Latest Actions:

  • In Sonoma County, EPA teams are working in the neighborhoods of Coffey Park and Mark West and soon beginning work in the Larkfield-Wikiup area.
  • In Napa County, EPA teams are working in the Silverado and Soda Canyon areas, and soon beginning work in the Atlas Peak Road, Monticello Road and Vichy Springs areas.
  • EPA established an Incident Command Post at Rohnert Park in Sonoma County.
  • EPA continues to attend community meetings in both Sonoma and Napa Counties.

Response Background Information:

Fires began burning on October 8 in multiple counties in Northern California. EPA is coordinating with federal, state and local agencies, including FEMA and the California Environmental Protection Agency, on response operations.

For additional information on EPA’s response activities, please visit: www.epa.gov/norcalfireresponse

 

California Fire Victims Have Three More Days to Apply for Disaster CalFresh Food Benefits

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:19

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is reminding residents affected by wildfires in Sonoma, Napa, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Yuba Counties of the November 1, 2017 deadline to apply for disaster food assistance through the Disaster CalFresh program. Any individual or family that resided or worked in the seven affected counties before the disaster, and was negatively affected by the disaster, may be eligible to receive food assistance.

Disaster CalFresh benefits are provided via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is a debit-like card that can be used to purchase food items at grocery stores and other authorized retailers. Disaster CalFresh and CalFresh may also be used to purchase hot foods at participating retailers in the disaster region.

Individuals and families may be eligible for Disaster CalFresh if the household experienced at least one of the following as a direct result of the wildfires: Damage to or destruction of the home or self-employment business; Loss or inaccessibility of income including a reduction or termination of income or a significant delay in receiving income due to disaster related problems; or Disaster-related expenses (home or business repairs, temporary shelter, evacuation, etc.) that are not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster benefit period.

How to Apply

To find out how to apply for benefits in your county, please call the toll free number 1- 844-719-8808. Apply online at www.benefitscal.com or by visiting any of the 58 county human or social services agencies across the state. Individuals and families seeking assistance must apply by Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Applicants applying online will also need to visit a local office in person to provide necessary verifications. A list of county social services agencies in all 58 counties can be found at www.cdss.ca.gov/County-Offices.

In addition, individuals or families with new needs for assistance may always apply for ongoing CalFresh benefits and CalWORKs cash aid at their local county social services agency, or at www.benefitscal.com.

Additional information about local assistance centers and other services available to individuals and families impacted by the wildfires can be found at www.cdss.ca.gov/Media-Center/October-2017-Wildfires.

SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Anaheim to Close

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 17:18

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – District Director J. Adalberto Quijada of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Santa Ana District Office announced today that SBA will close its Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Anaheim at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

“SBA opened the center to provide personalized assistance to California businesses and residents who were affected by the wildfires that began Oct. 8, 2017. Until the center closes, SBA customer service representatives will continue to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their electronic loan application,” said Quijada.

Businesses and residents can meet with SBA representatives on the days and times as indicated below. No appointment is necessary.

ORANGE COUNTY

Disaster Loan Outreach Center

East Anaheim Community Center – Oak Room

8201 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road

Anaheim, CA  92808

Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Closes 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for property damage is Dec. 11, 2017. The deadline to apply for economic injury is July 12, 2018.

# # #

Cal/OSHA Issues Notice for Worker Safety During Fire Cleanup

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 13:34

Cal/OSHA has posted materials that provide guidance for employers and workers on working safely during fire cleanup.

Hazards remain after fires have been extinguished and cleanup begins. Employers performing cleanup and other work in areas damaged or destroyed by fire are required to identify and evaluate these hazards, correct any unsafe or unhealthy conditions and provide training to employees.

Potential hazards in fire cleanup areas include but are not limited to the following:

  • Fire from heat sources such as smoldering wood or debris coming into contact with flammable material. Fire extinguishers should be provided at every cleanup job.
  • Electricity from reenergized power lines and electrical equipment after an outage. Precautions must be taken when generators are used at worksites and if water has been near electrical circuits or equipment.
  • Flammable gases from pipes and tanks. Employers must make sure pipes and tanks are properly shut off if they are potentially damaged or leaking.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning from gasoline or diesel-powered pumps, generators and pressure washers. This equipment may be used for fire cleanup but is prohibited indoors in most situations.
  • Unstable structures from fire damage. Buildings or structures can collapse without warning—assume they are unstable until examined and certified safe for work by a qualified person.
  • Demolition or dismantling damaged structures exposes workers to unexpected collapse, falling objects and hazardous materials. Before commencing work, employers must review and address all demolition safety requirements.
  • Sharp or flying objects from handling, cutting or breaking up debris. Employers must provide and ensure employees wear appropriate eye, hand and foot protection.
  • Confined space hazards include toxic exposure, asphyxiation, electrocution and unguarded moving machinery. Employers must evaluate worksites to determine if there are confined spaces and review all safety requirements for working in confined spaces.
  • Ash, soot and dust can cause irritation and damage to workers’ lungs if inhaled. When exposure would probably cause injury or illness, employers must provide NIOSH-certified respirators designated as N-95 or greater.
  • Asbestos in damaged structures poses serious health hazards to employees. Safety regulations are available onCal/OSHA’s Asbestos Information page.
  • Stored chemicals in potentially damaged or dislodged tanks, drums, pipes and equipment pose hazards to workers. Only workers with the required skills, training and personal protective and emergency equipment are allowed to clean up hazardous spills.
  • Heat illness is a hazard for outdoor workers. Employers must provide potable drinking water free of charge, rest breaks and access to shade to prevent heat illness. More detail is available on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention page.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California.Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged tosubscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.

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