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Cal OES, FEMA Open Disaster Recovery Center in Napa

People affected by the August South Napa earthquake can now visit a disaster recovery center in the City of Napa with questions about disaster assistance. An additional recovery center will open soon.

The disaster recovery center will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located at:

Napa Earthquake Local Assistance Center

301 1st Street

Napa, CA 94559

Specialists from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration will be on hand to answer questions. Applicants can:

  • Discuss their individual disaster-related needs.
  • Submit any additional documentation needed, such as occupancy or ownership verification documents and letters from insurance companies.
  • Find out the status of an application.
  • Obtain information about different types of local, state and federal assistance.
  • Get help from SBA specialists in completing low-interest disaster loan applications for homeowners, renters and business owners.
  • Receive referrals to the American Red Cross and other voluntary organizations to help with immediate disaster-related needs.

People should register with FEMA before going to a center, if possible. Apply for assistance by registering online at, via smartphone or tablet at or by phone at 800-621-3362. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability can call (TTY) 800-462-7585.

Disaster assistance may include money to help pay for temporary housing and essential home repairs. Low-interest SBA loans may also be available for losses not covered by insurance or other sources.

No Matter the Language – Californians Don’t Waste Water

Two more months before 2014 is over! It’s hard to believe that the third year of drought has changed the perception of many people including businesses; but, unfortunately still many more take water for granted, especially when rain is in the forecast. But like many experts have said, it would take a monsoon to put us back on track to our water needs.

My soon to be 3-year-old was born on a rainy day, and last week when it rained he asked “What’s that mommy?” referring to the raindrops. I was astonished to realize that in his little life he hasn’t seen much rain! Meteorologists are saying Northern California will welcome a storm on Halloween and through the weekend, so thankfully he will see a little bit more rain. But, that is not enough, we’re not out of the woods yet and that’s why we have to remember that water conservation is always important in our beautiful state, but this year no Californian can afford to waste any water.  We all need to do our part.

We will do our part by sharing the message “We are Californian’s and We Don’t Waste Water” in Korean and Mandarin. Two Public Service Announcements we produced with the help of our friends from Mikuni in Sacramento.

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Governor Brown Streamlines Relief Efforts for Families with Drinking Water Shortages Due to Drought –

PCWA Sets the Bar for Saving Water During Drought –

The What and How of Federal Assistance for South Napa Earthquake Affected Individuals, Homeowners

Cal OES_FEMA HorizontalSACRAMENTO, Calif. – Individuals and homeowners who sustained damage in the South Napa Earthquake may now be eligible for certain kinds of federal assistance. Money is available to help displaced individuals in Napa and Solano counties to repair essential living areas.

“The most important thing people can do right now is to register with FEMA,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen De Blasio. “People can only get federal assistance if they register – that’s the only way they can start the process.”

Individuals should register online at, by telephone at 800-621-FEMA (3362), or from smartphone or tablet at There is also a FEMA app that can be downloaded via smart phone. Those with speech or hearing impairments who are using a conventional telephone should call the special TTY number, 800-462-7585, and the 800 number has multilingual operators available.

“We are working closely with the designated counties right now to assist them in getting their citizens aware of this new aid and help them register quickly,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “This assistance is going to be invaluable for helping people get their lives back to normal.”

Those who have earthquake insurance should call their insurance companies to file a claim immediately, but they do not have to wait to settle the claim to register with FEMA. There will be a limited time to register.

What aid is available varies based on each individual’s unique circumstance. Temporary housing and home repairs, money for other serious disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs, and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are all possibilities.

Applicants will be asked for the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged home or apartment
  • 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.

Applicants can register any time using the web-based options. The telephone options will be operating from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

SBA Stands Ready to Assist California Residents and Businesses Affected by the South Napa Earthquake

SBA LogoSACRAMENTO – Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to California residents and business owners as a result of President Obama’s major disaster declaration, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced.

The declaration covers Napa and Solano counties as a result of the South Napa Earthquake and aftershocks that occurred August 24 – September 7, 2014.

“The U. S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help residents and businesses affected by the South Napa Earthquake,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

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.

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. SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and business owners to help 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, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Interest rates can be as low as 2.063 percent for homeowners and renters, 4 percent for businesses, and 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, victims must first call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers are opened throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

SBA Field Operations Center – West, P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841


Napa, Solano County Residents to Receive Federal Individual, Household Aid Following South Napa Earthquake

Cal OES_FEMA Horizontal

SACRAMENTO — Today the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the Major Disaster declaration for the South Napa earthquake will also include the Individuals and Households Program under the Stafford Act. This amendment makes assistance available to help homeowners and renters recover from the earthquake.

“This is a very welcome announcement for those individuals that had their daily lives changed by this earthquake,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “Additional federal resources like this program will be a huge help to everyone impacted, especially those struggling with major damages and limited personal resources.”

Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. and local, state and Congressional officials requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration as damages caused by the 6.0-magnitude earthquake that shook through most of Northern California mounted. In response, President Barack Obama declared a Major Disaster on Sept. 11. The Major Disaster Declaration allowed for public assistance to be available to state, tribal and eligible governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged during the earthquake. The Individuals and Households Program will provide assistance to residents in Napa and Solano Counties.

“We are glad to be able to assist individual households as well as state and local governments in recovering from this earthquake,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen De Blasio. “We ask those Californians who sustained earthquake damage to get registered as quickly as possible.”

Gov. Brown declared a State of Emergency shortly after the earthquake, whose epicenter was near American Canyon and the City of Napa, and issued an executive order to provide additional financial assistance to local agencies and non-profit organizations.

Individuals who are interested in finding out more information about eligibility for the Individual and Households Program should call or register at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585 or visit

Debris Cleanup in Weed Expediting Rebuilding Process

Sacramento – The cleanup efforts in the community of Weed are ahead of schedule. As winter weather approaches, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), in partnership with Cal Recycle have cleared 135 of 157 burned sites from the wildfire putting homeowners on track to start the rebuilding process earlier than scheduled.

Courtesy: Melinda Stehr,  Cal OES Debris Coordinator

Courtesy: Melinda Stehr,
Cal OES Debris Coordinator

Debris that is threatening public health and safety is being removed and disposed of quickly and properly to ensure that the areas can be reoccupied securely. These efforts will expedite recovery; restore communities and the environment and families with the rebuilding process sooner than expected.

Cal OES provided the first $2 million of funding to expedite the cleanup process as Cal Recycle completes the first phase of cleanup. More than 16 tons of debris has been removed from the affected area so far and completion is expected in about two weeks.

“We began the response and recovery efforts by assisting the City of Weed as soon as the fire began,” said Charles Rabamad, Cal OES Assistance Director of Recovery. “Our main responsibility is to eliminate any threats to the community and expedite the rebuilding process.”

Courtesy: Melinda Stehr,  Cal OES Debris Coordinator

Courtesy: Melinda Stehr,
Cal OES Debris Coordinator

Additionally, the asbestos survey crew continues to work on registered sites removing this dangerous mineral from private homes that had registered to have this source after the wildfire.

The Boles Fire, which began on Sept. 15, 2014, ravaged through an entire neighborhood in Weed burning 516 acres and destroying close to 200 structures, a community center and two churches. The arson incident was contained on Oct. 11, 2014.

Drought Conditions Could Increase Risk Of Flash Flooding

The recent light rain seen in Northern California in the last few days won’t put an end to the current drought; however, we must still prepare if a big thunderstorm approaches because the likelihood of a flash flood is very possible.

Why? Because dry, compacted soils mean that rainfall is less easily absorbed into the ground, increasing the likelihood of flooding if the state is hit by storms.

Flash floods happen general six hours after a severe thunderstorm.

Floods and droughts are among the most dangerous and costly of all natural disasters. According to statistics from the United Nations, during 1970-2005 over 30% of natural disasters were floods and nearly 15% were droughts or drought-related (wild fires and extreme high temperatures).

Watch this video to find out how an atmospheric river could be the cause of a flash flood.

Related articles: Capital Public Radio


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