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One Month Left to Apply for SBA Disaster Loans

SBA LogoSACRAMENTO, Calif. – Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Field Operations Center – West today reminded California private nonprofit (PNP) organizations of the March 30, 2015, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for property damage caused by the severe storms, flooding and mudslides that occurred December 4 – 6, 2014. PNPs that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance.

According to Garfield, eligible PNPs of any size may apply for SBA federal disaster loans of 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 help eligible PNPs meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the PNP suffered any property damage. PNPs have until October 27, 2015, to apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan.

SBA low-interest federal disaster loans are available in the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians and associated lands.

The interest rate is 2.625 percent with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are 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 information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

 

Governor Brown Directs Assistance for Mono County Wildfire

Photo of California Governor Jerry Brown

A Proclamation of a State of Emergency

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an emergency proclamation yesterday for Mono County due to the effects of the severe fire that started on February 6, 2015 burning thousands of acres, destroying over 40 structures, including residences, necessitating the evacuation of residents, the opening of emergency shelters; creating a substantial amount of hazardous debris over a large area, and affecting the community of Swall Meadows.

Yesterday’s proclamation directs all agencies of the state government to utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all activities related to this state of emergency consistent with the direction of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan.

This proclamation also directs the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to provide local government assistance, as appropriate, under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act; the Secretary for the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretary for the California Natural Resources Agency to use sound discretion in applying this order to ensure that the suspension serves the purpose of accelerating cleanup and recovery, while at the same time protecting public health and the environment; to assist local governments as necessary and for the protection of public health and the environment and state agencies shall enter into contracts to arrange for the procurement of materials, goods, and services necessary to quickly remove dangerous debris and repair damaged resources.

Additionally, state agencies and departments within the governors administration shall work with local officials to assist them in establishing and implementing a comprehensive debris removal plan.

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services continues to work with Mono County impacted to complete damage assessments and evaluate the need for additional action to help communities respond to and recover from the effects of this fire.

The full text of the emergency proclamation is provided by clicking on link HERE

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to California Small Businesses

SBA LogoSACRAMENTO, Calif. – Small, nonfarm businesses in 26 California counties and neighboring counties in Nevada are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought in the following primary counties that began on January 1, 2014, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center – West.

Primary California counties: Humboldt, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Solano, Sutter, Ventura and Yuba;

Neighboring California counties: Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Kern, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Plumas, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Trinity and Yolo;

Neighboring Nevada counties: Carson City, Douglas and Washoe.

“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 (EIDLs) 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 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 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 EIDLs available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on February 25, 2015.

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, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are 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 information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

The deadline to apply for these loans is October 26, 2015.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to Arizona Small Businesses

SBA LogoSACRAMENTO, Calif. – Small, nonfarm businesses in six Arizona counties and neighboring counties in California, Nevada and Utah are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought in the following primary counties that began on February 17, 2015, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center – West.

Primary Arizona counties:  Coconino and Mohave;

Neighboring Arizona counties:  Gila, La Paz, Navajo and Yavapai;

Neighboring California county:  San Bernardino;

Neighboring Nevada counties:  Clark and Lincoln;

Neighboring Utah counties:  Kane, San Juan and Washington.

“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 (EIDLs) 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 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 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 EIDLs available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared these disasters on February 25, 2015.

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, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are 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 information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

The deadline to apply for these loans is October 26, 2015.

Cal OES Employee Receives 2015 IT Leadership Award

Last night, the California Public Sector CIO Academy gave it’s prestigious 2015 IT Leadership Award to Cal OES employee Dominick Pedicino. This award recognizes an individual, who over the last year has demonstrated exceptional leadership, customer service and public stewardship. Their manager or supervisor through a nomination process submits candidate’s names from across the state to the Academy. The individuals nominated must have proven themselves to be exemplary in the areas of leading a team, serving the organization, implementing innovative solutions, and serving constituents.

Dominick Pedicino receiving CIO Academy 2015 IT Leadership Award

Dominick Pedicino receiving CIO Academy 2015 IT Leadership Award

Pedicino was honored and received the award at an event held yesterday evening at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. “Dominick is a proactive, positive, and very capable person within our organization,” as, described by Carla Simmons, Chief Information Officer for Cal OES. She also said, “He led what was not a visible, but very difficult high risk project known as the Active Directory.” The Active Directory project brought the domains of Public Safety Communications and Cal OES together, after the agencies merged to a single network. It is what allows a user to login and have access the network. “This particular project required a new learner, planning, and lots of testing,” added Simmons.

In addition to being surprised to receive such an award, Pedicino comments expressed gratitude. “I feel everyone in the unit deserved it,” he said. “Everyone works just as hard and it is a team effort. This is a great honor but I am just doing my job,” he replied. Pedicino credits his strong work ethic to owning and running his own software business for 15 years prior to coming to Cal OES. He was originally hired as a contractor and enjoyed working with the employees so much that he decided to come to work for Cal OES. “I would not want to work for any other state agency,” he said.

Since coming to Cal OES, Pedicino has worked on numerous projects. One of the more interesting and memorable projects was assisting in the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. After the devastation left by the hurricane, Pedicino was deployed to the site to help set up networks in an effort to support the victims.

When asked what advice he would give others who aspire to receive such an award, Pedicino says, “Hard work, be willing to help anyone at anytime, and don’t ask just do.” He also believes in having a good role model. His role model is Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers. “Jackie set a goal and didn’t let anyone get in his way. He set his mind to something and achieved it, during a difficult time,” he replied.

Dominick Pedicino has been with Cal OES since 2010. He currently works in the IT division doing infrastructure network services.

Dominick Pedicino has been with Cal OES since 2010. He currently works in the IT division doing infrastructure network services.

This strong work ethic and role model seem to have given Pedicino an advantage in the career he has chosen to pursue. His colleagues and managers have definitely noticed these characteristics. As Simmons stated, “Dominick is the type of employee we look for at Cal OES, one with a can do attitude and willingness to complete any project to the best of his ability.” Congratulations!

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These Photos Show Just How Bad Brazil’s Drought Really Is

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State, Federal Experts Update Legislature on Status of Early Earthquake Warning System in California

EEW in CA

Home to one of the most diverse socioeconomic and geographic landscapes, California is also at risk of a major earthquake every day. While no one can reliably predict earthquakes, technologies do exist to rapidly detect seismic waves as earthquakes initiate. Today, experts from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) went before a joint informational Legislative hearing of the Committees on Governmental Organizations to discuss the future of an operational earthquake early warning (EEW) system.

The hearing, “California’s Earthquake Preparedness: Status of the Earthquake Early Warning System,” included testimony from the state’s leading emergency managers and planners, as well as nationally recognized earthquake scientists.

“There’s no doubt that we have the best minds in the state, in the country working on this system,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “I learned early on that we couldn’t just pick up the Japanese model or the Turkish model and lay it over California. Our state has a unique set of impacts and risks.”

Cal OES Director speaks before the Joint Legislative Hearing on the early earthquake warning system.

Cal OES Director speaks before the Joint Legislative Hearing on the early earthquake warning system.

This massive effort to establish the early earthquake warning system is aimed at adding valuable seconds to an already established California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN). These seconds could be used to halt industrial processes, shut down critical infrastructure or even warn doctors in the middle of delicate procedures. These seconds can add up to more lives saved and less property destroyed during a destructive earthquake.

“Both state and federal efforts are aligned by giving early earthquake warnings to the public through the CISN,” said Doug Given, geologist with the USGS. Given went on to say that EEW could save lives and property in the near future.

On Oct. 15, 2014, another informational hearing on earthquake early warning was held in San Francisco, on the heels of the largest earthquake in Northern California in 25 years epicentered in Napa on Aug. 24. Then-Senator Alex Padilla, who organized the San Francisco hearing, sponsored the 2013 bill SB 135 that formalized the multi-agency cohort, led by Cal OES, to develop a comprehensive early warning system for California. While recovery is still underway in the Napa-area from last year’s earthquake, costs have already gone above $35 million.

“Nine seconds of warning may not sound like much,” said Richard Allen, Director of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, “but this time is enough for our brains to process the warning and take emergency actions.”

According to the State Geologist, John Parrish of the California Geological Survey, California has up to 700 earthquakes a week, many of which are not perceived by humans (these are typically at or below magnitude 2.0). Approximately 300 earthquakes happen each year that have reports of being felt by someone in California. A magnitude 7 earthquake hits about once every 10 years.

At today’s panel before the Joint Committee also included: John Parrish, State Geologist for California Geological Survey; Richard Allen, Director for UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory; Thomas Heaton, professor of Engineering Seismology for the California Institute of Technology; Scott Negenzhal, Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Accounts, Seismic Warnings Systems, Inc.; Steve Carlson, California Governments Affairs Counsel, CTIA-The Wireless Association; Peter White, Executive Director of Global Public Policy for AT&T; Barry Anderson, Vice President for Emergency Preparedness and Response at PG&E.

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