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NEWSROOM | Multimedia | California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
Updated: 1 hour 26 min ago

Podcast – Rattlesnake Encounters and How to Avoid Them: We’re Hands-on for Your Sssafety!

8 hours 56 min ago

In this episode we tag along with professional rattlesnake wrangler Lou Fraser, and state park ranger Kerrie Launey. Fraser shows us the kind of habitat in which rattlesnakes can be found, and educates us on their some of their behavior and some of the mistakes people make that lead to bites, all while catching four of the venomous reptiles. Meanwhile, California park ranger Launey tells us about snakes in parks and what you can expect, and she gives us tips for avoiding an unwanted encounter, and what to do in the event you are bitten.

We also have a video that accompanies this podcast at the link below.  And be sure to flip through the really cool (and creepy) slideshow below.

Click to view slideshow. Links

INSIDE LOOK: Rattlesnake Awareness, Warm Weather Tips and Backyard Pool Safety (VIDEO)

Snakes Slither Into Summer (

Lou Fraser’s Rattlesnake Removal USA

Rattlesnakes in California (CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)

Rattlesnake Safety (California Department of Parks and Recreation)

CalRecycle Crews Complete Thomas Wildfire Cleanup

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 17:39

SACRAMENTO – Crews managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery have completed debris removal operations at 672 Ventura County properties destroyed by the Thomas Fire. Since January, crews have removed more than 263,000 tons of ash, debris, and contaminated soil from properties for which owners chose to participate in the state-funded cleanup program.

“The wildfires California experienced last winter were among the most destructive in state history, so cleanup efforts demanded an unprecedented response,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “CalRecycle is incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made alongside neighbors and local leaders in the City of Ventura and Ventura County to help get these communities in a position to rebuild.”

Following December’s Thomas Fire in Southern California, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) tasked CalRecycle with overseeing debris removal work in the City of Ventura and Ventura County. On Jan. 19, 2018, CalRecycle contractor crews began removing debris from participating properties. Crews completed debris removal at the final property on June 6, 2018.


BY THE NUMBERS – Thomas Fire Debris Removal   Properties in Debris Removal Program 672 Debris Removal Completed 672 Tons of Ash, Debris and Soil Removed 263,925 Confirmation Soil Sampling Completed 670 Erosion Control Measures Installed 663 Final Property Inspections Completed 652

Final soil testing, the installation of erosion control measures, and final property inspections are on track to be complete in the coming weeks. Upon final inspections, property owners receive a certificate from their county that verifies their lot is clean and eligible to receive a building permit.

For more information on the Thomas Fire cleanup operations, check out

‘Deadly Silence’ A Drowning Awareness Campaign

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:59

Can you imagine finding your child floating face down in your own pool? It happened, but this story does have a happy ending and we’re using it as a reminder for all. Backyard swimming pools will once again be busy this summer. Know what to do to prevent a drowning in your backyard and how to spread awareness for this deadly silence.

Here is an emotionally powerful Public Service Announcement produced in coordination between our California OES staff and the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to Nevada Small Businesses

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 17:34

Small nonfarm businesses in three Nevada counties and neighboring counties in Arizona and California are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in the following primary county that began April 3, 2018.

Primary Nevada county:  Clark;

Neighboring Nevada counties:  Lincoln and Nye;

Neighboring Arizona county:  Mohave;

Neighboring California counties:  Inyo and San Bernardino.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 3.58 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on June 4, 2018.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email 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 economic injury is Feb. 4, 2019.




Geared Up for “Super Thursday” at CSTI Hazmat Training

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 17:35

In this episode (#46) we take you to Super Thursday, a sort of “final exam day” for students attending the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) Hazmat Specialist course.

We talk with Alex Cabassa, Cal OES Assistant Director, and CSTI Superintendent about the uniqueness of the course, its hands-on approach and the facility in which it takes place. 


We also talk with Jim Tate, CSTI Emergency Management Coordinator Instructor-2. He talks about the training itself and what students learn and how important it is.  There is a companion video for this podcast which can be found here after Thursday, June 7, 2018.



Under the reorganization of Cal OES, CSTI has evolved into a statewide enterprise with responsibility for supporting training, exercises and education in wide variety of areas including but not limited to; emergency management, public safety, homeland security, hazardous materials, disaster recovery and crisis communications. CSTI is no longer just defined by the San Luis Obispo campus you may be familiar with, but is being developed into a more holistic resource to support your needs whether you are a government, non-profit or private sector organization.

Be sure to visit after Thursday, June 7, 2018 to watch the companion video and see the many pictures taken during Super Thursday!

Click to view slideshow. Links

Cal OES INSIDE LOOK: Protect Your Home From Wildfire

Wed, 05/30/2018 - 15:22

Another hot summer is kicking in and that means the vegetation around your home, especially if you live in a more rural environment, is drying out.  That, of course, makes your home more susceptible to fires.  You’ve heard the term “defensible space,” but what does that really mean? We’ll cut through the weeds and show you how we do it. California’s firefighting mutual aid system moves faster than you think. And, goats could save your life – we’ll explain how.



Source: Summit County, CO Resources:

Cal OES My Hazards

CALFIRE: Why 100′?

Defensible Space Flier

Defensible Space Brochure

Homeowners Defensible Space Checklist


Cases of Virulent Newcastle Disease Increases Need to Be Vigilant about Biosecurity

Tue, 05/29/2018 - 15:27

Bird owners in Southern California are responding to outreach provided over the past several days related to virulent Newcastle disease (VND), and have started reporting sick birds. VND has now been confirmed in a number of flocks of backyard birds in San Bernardino County.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is working closely with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to respond to these findings, and is investigating any potential links between these cases and a case recently identified in Los Angeles County.

Bird owners are urged to practice biosecurity to help protect their birds from VND and other infectious diseases. These include simple steps like washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering a poultry area; cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property; and isolating any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock.

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to California’s Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-BIRD (2473).

Visit the CDFA site for additional information on virulent Newcastle disease.