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Cal OES Transfers the First Five of Twenty-Five Additional Type III Wildland Fire Engines

Transfer 3.27.15

On Friday, March 27, 2015, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) transferred the first (5), of twenty-five additional Type-III Wildland Fire Engines to local fire departments.

Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci was joined by Cal OES State Fire and Rescue Chief Kim Zagaris, Senator Richard Pan, as well as Representatives from Senator Nielsen, Assembleymember Cooley, and Assembleymember Gaines offices. In addition, Fire Chiefs and representatives from the assigned fire departments were present to receive the engines and return them to their stations where they will stay until called into action.

These engines were ordered last year as part of the Governor’s concern with ongoing wildfires brought on by the drought to provide additional surge capability to the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System. They were purchased as a result of the 2003 Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission and Governor Brown’s commitment to the ongoing drought and fire issues. The local fire departments that received the engines today were Consumes, Folsom City, Sacramento City, Sacramento Metropolitan, and West Sacramento.

“These engines provide a critical asset in being able to provide immediate emergency response, saving lives and property and being there for the citizens of California when they need them, said Cal OES Director Ghilarducci.”

Since there seems to be no end to our drought anytime soon, these types of events are drawing more attention from the media and the public. A press conference was held to highlight today’s transfer and many members of the media were present. “Having the necessary equipment, tools, and personnel to fight wildland fires is going to be important,” says Cal OES Fire Chief Zagaris “The drought is only making matters worse.”

The Type III Wildland engines are equipped to respond and fight wildland fires, have additional capabilities to fight fires in buildings and other structures, and provide EMS response. Additionally, the engines are four wheel drive capable, have a four door cab, 500 gallon water tank, 500 gallon per minute pump, and all the necessary tools and equipment for a four person crew.

Through contractual agreement between Cal OES and the local governments, the state permits use of the fire engines for mutual aid responses, local multiple alarm fires, temporary replacement for out of service engines, training and other local needs. In return, the assignee is required to dispatch the engine with required personnel to any emergency.

“This is the best Mutual Aid System in the nation,” says Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Chief Mark Wells. “It not only works, but it build bonds between the agencies and regions involved in the program.”

More information on the Cal OES Fire Engine Program is available at

More Information on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission Action Plan is available at

More Information on the State Fire Assistance Act Program is available at


One Month Left To Apply For SBA Disaster Loans In Alameda, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties

SBA Logo

SACRAMENTO, CA. – Director Mark Quinn of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) San Francisco District Office today reminded businesses and residents of the April 24, 2015, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for property damage caused by the Mission District Fire in San Francisco County that occurred on January 27, 2015.

According to Quinn, businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters may apply for SBA federal disaster loans to repair or replace disaster-damaged property. SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

These low-interest federal disaster loans are available in Alameda, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties in California.

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 with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

In addition, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. The deadline to apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan is November 23, 2015.

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 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.813 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 using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit

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

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Officials to test tsunami warning system in Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties during Calif. Tsunami Preparedness Week

Tsunami Week 2015

NOAA and the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) plan to conduct a test of the tsunami warning communications system on March 25 between 11 a.m. and noon PDT in coastal areas of northern California.

This emergency test will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, local television and radio stations in Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties. Residents in some communities may hear warning sirens.

National Weather Service Eureka Weather Field Office staff record  tsunami warning communications test message for broadcast as part of last year's test in Del Norte, Humboldt and  Mendocino counties.

National Weather Service Eureka Weather Field Office staff record tsunami warning communications test message for broadcast as part of last year’s test in Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

Some television systems are programmed to scroll a standard emergency alert text message and in some cases, the message may not contain the word “TEST.” An audio message will say that the message is only a test, but if the volume is turned down or otherwise unheard, viewers may not realize the message is a test.

To avoid confusion with an actual alert the test will be canceled if there is excessive seismic activity 24 hours prior to the test. People monitoring the test in coastal areas who do not receive it are asked to inform their local National Weather Service office. The public can provide feedback online at

The test is a cooperative effort between NOAA, Cal OES, California Broadcasters Association and local emergency management officials in coastal California.

During California’s Tsunami Preparedness Week, March 22 – 28, NOAA and emergency managers promote tsunami safety and awareness and urge coastal residents and visitors to prepare themselves and their families for a tsunami.

NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center offers complete information, including the current status of tsunami warnings, advisories and watches, and frequently asked questions.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Working with partners, NOAA’s National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit us at and join us on social media.

On the Web:

NOAA’s National Weather Service:

NOAA Tsunami Web sites:,,

NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center:


Cal OES, National Weather Service to Test Tsunami Warning System in Coastal Counties during Tsunami Preparedness Week

By Greg Renick

Tsunami Week 2015

The next time ports, harbors and communities along California’s coast are threatened by a tsunami that is generated by either an undersea landslide or an earthquake off our coast or by one hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away, the ability of local, state and federal agencies to warn the public will be critical to saving lives, reducing injuries and reducing property losses.

On Wednesday, March 25, at approximately 10:15 a.m., National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Monterey, Oxnard and San Diego will test the tsunami warning communication system in California by broadcasting a “Required Monthly Test” message via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to local radio and television stations from Sonoma County to the U.S.-Mexico border for retransmission.  The message will also be transmitted via NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.

The test, which is being conducted in cooperation with the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the California Broadcasters Association and in conjunction with Tsunami Preparedness Week, is a key component of local, state and federal efforts to make sure the system will work when the next tsunami hits California.

“The annual Tsunami EAS test is critical to ensure that time sensitive communication between the National Weather Service and the EAS distributors such as media outlets occur with no glitches,” said Alexander Tardy, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS office in San Diego. “If there are issues discovered from when the message goes through NOAA weather radio, EAS and then relayed to receiving broadcasters, corrective measures can be taken to resolve them before the next real hazard occurs. The EAS is only used for the dissemination of critical life and property saving information, therefore regular testing is necessary.”

The test also serves as springboard for drills and exercises conducted by emergency managers and responders to test their response plans.

“Short of using ‘live’ EAS codes that may create confusion across media outlets, the NWS in conjunction with EAS participants use the Required Monthly Test or RMT, to test tsunami communication systems throughout southern California. This test also gives state and local authorities a mechanism to practice tsunami inundation evacuation plans and emergency operations in the event of an actual tsunami,” said Eric Boldt, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS office in Oxnard.

“The week of March 22-28, 2015 is National Tsunami Preparedness Week and is the perfect time to learn more about tsunami safety, how you will be notified of a tsunami warning, and where the inundation zones are located,” he added.

The test will feature an audio message indicating that a TEST is being conducted.   Some viewers and listeners, however, may not realize a test is being conducted if they are unable to hear the message because the volume is off or down or for other reasons.

Although a standard emergency alert message may appear in a scroll at the bottom of the television screen, some viewers may not realize a test is underway if the word TEST is not included within the message.

To help prevent potential confusion, organizers will cancel the test if excessive seismic activity occurs in the 24 hours preceding the test.

Weather Service officials ask coastal residents and business owners to contact their local NWS if they do not receive the message.   They also welcome public feedback regarding the test at

Additional information about tsunamis and Tsunami Preparedness Week is available at:

NEWS: Governor Brown Issues Proclamation Declaring Tsunami Preparedness Week

brown portraitSACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a proclamation declaring March 22 through 28, 2015, as Tsunami Preparedness Week in the State of California.

The text of the proclamation is below:ProcTsunamiPrepWeek2015

CaliforniaVolunteers Announces Launch of Volunteer Coordinator Guidance Documents for Times of Disasters

CVHorizontalColorNEWSACRAMENTO, Calif. – CaliforniaVolunteers today announced new Volunteer Coordinator Guidance Documents as part of California’s emergency management system.  These tools will help emergency managers across the state to better coordinate volunteer resources during disaster response operations.

“These first-in-the-nation guidance documents will allow more volunteers to be used more efficiently during disasters,” said Chief Service Officer, Karen Baker.  “These materials will help begin to professionalize volunteerism by formally integrating volunteer assets into emergency management planning and implementation.”

“I commend CalVolunteers for their continuing efforts to work with Cal OES to incorporate the numerous benefits of volunteerism into emergency management and disaster recovery programs in California,” said California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci.

The Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) Advisory Board approved the new guidance today, after more than 25 meetings and workshops were held to solicit feedback from hundreds of stakeholders across California, including local government, state agencies, nongovernmental organizations and tribal governments.  The concept for the documents is based on the principles of SEMS, following the resource request process.  CaliforniaVolunteers will work to provide key training to help emergency managers develop volunteer coordinators within their own jurisdictions.

Together, these resources will provide guidance on the roles and responsibilities of a Volunteer Coordinator at all levels of the emergency management system and will help increase the use of volunteers for disaster response and recovery efforts.

About CaliforniaVolunteers

CaliforniaVolunteers is the state office that manages programs and initiatives to increase the number of Californians involved with service and volunteering, including the state AmeriCorps program and the management of volunteers and monetary donations during times of disasters. CaliforniaVolunteers is the lead agency for Emergency Function 17 – Volunteer and Donations Management. Executive Order S-04-06 charged CaliforniaVolunteers with ensuring the coordination of volunteer activities in disaster response and recovery.  For more information, please visit

About the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) Advisory Board

The Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) is the cornerstone of California’s emergency response system and the fundamental structure for the response phase of emergency management. SEMS is required by the California Emergency Services Act for managing multiagency and multijurisdictional responses to emergencies in California. The primary purpose of the SEMS Advisory Board is to develop and recommend policy to the Director of California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services related to the administration and coordination of SEMS and the SEMS regulations.  For more information, please visit 


Lake County Receives Applicant Briefing by Cal OES for the 2014 December Storms

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Lake County Applicant’s Briefing – 2014 December Storms

Lake County – Today, Cal OES held a Governor’s Proclamation Applicants Briefing in Lakeport for local jurisdictions in Lake County to apply for CDAA funding. The briefing was to discuss the reimbursement process for damages incurred during the November 30th to December 31st 2014 Incident Period due to the California 2014 Storms.

Cal OES Recovery staff worked with locals on the application process and how to submit the appropriate documentation required for reimbursement.  “We are here to support the local governments with their application process,” said Sean Smith, Cal OES Disaster Assistance Programs Specialist. The Applicants Briefing is the first substantial meeting of the recovery process,” he added.

At the request of local government or on his own initiative, the Governor proclaims a State of Emergency (a “Gubernatorial Proclamation”) authorizing CDAA, which provides funding for Emergency and Permanent Work. The Director of Cal OES can also issue a Director’s Concurrence. This provides recovery for Permanent Work only. Both provide for 75%-25% cost share (state/local).

Cal OES staff provided attendees today, which included Cal OES representatives, local government and private non-profit’s with the tools and information to move forward in the CDAA application process.

photo 10

Cal OES Sean Smith, Disaster Assistance Programs Specialist Shares the Reimbursement Process with Lake County Applicants

“I believe these meetings are critical for us in getting the applications and paperwork in on time and appreciate the help provided by Cal OES,” said Brad Rasmussen, Chief of the Lakeport Police Department. Any costs outside of our normal budget would be beneficial to help recover,” added Rasmussen.

Under CDAA-2014-07, eligible applicants; (Cities, Counties, Special Districts, School Districts, Community College Districts and Certain Private Non-Profit Organizations) may receive reimbursement costs for the following:

Emergency Work:

Category A: Debris Removal
Emergency Work:

Category B: Emergency Protective Measures
Note – Both Categories A & B are eligible only under a Governor’s proclamation

Permanent Work:

Category C: Roads & Bridges
Category D: Water Control | Facilities
Category E: Buildings & Equipment
Category F: Utilities
Category G: Parks, Recreational & Other
Note – Categories C-G are eligible under both a Governor’s Proclamation and a Director’s Concurrences

Other Categories Covered Include:

Trees, Shrubs, and Vegetation
Eligible Costs
Force Account Labor
Force Account Equipment
Force Account Equipment Materials
Rental Equipment
CDAA Minimum Threshold:

Applicant must incur an aggregate state-share total of at least $2,500 for each declared disaster to be eligible for assistance.
Other Disaster Assistance Programs (Other Non-FEMA programs may offer assistance):

Hazard Mitigation:

Note – Must be cost effective and substantially reduce the risk of repetitive and/or future damage

So what are the next steps? Applications must be received by the Pubic Assistance Division at the address below no later than Monday, April 20, 2015. Additionally, Cal OES representatives will meet with Applicants and conduct a Kick-Off meeting , to discuss projects and complete project formulation for reimbursement.

Applications Must be Sent to the Following:

Ms. Stacy Mason-Vegna

Recovery Infrastructure Branch Chief

Public Assistance Branch

California Governors Office of Emergency Services

3650 Schriever Ave., Mather, CA 95655

Attention: CDAA-2014-07

For more information on this specific CDAA Disaster Incident, please contact Cal OES Representative Michael McIntosh, Interim Area Coordinator at (530) 347-6529 or e-mail at, Robert Larsen, Area Coordinator, (916) 845-8162 or via e-mail at or Peter Crase, Program Manager at (916) 845-8203 or e-mail at

Additional information can be found by visiting the Cal OES Disaster Recovery programs and don’t forget to follow us on twitter @Cal_OES.


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