Dear Community Members,
This email is to help provide you with information on the latest updates for the wildfires on the central coast of California and ways to obtain any federal recovery assistance.
A Wildfire Recovery Guide is available online as a comprehensives step by step guide detailing what to do after this wildfire disaster and how to obtain federal assistance.
Beginning Sunday, August 30, 2020, federal information and assistance on wildfire recovery resources will be provided at the Monterey County Office of Emergency Service’s (MCOES) Local Assistance Center at the Monterey Conference Center. You can find more information about the Local Assistance Center on the MCOES website here .
Federal information and assistance on wildfire recovery resources will also be provided at the Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center’s Recovery Resource Center at Kaiser Permanente Arena. You can find more information about the Recovery Resource Center here .
Latest Updates on Wildfires
There are five fires in or near our home in the 20th Congressional District that include the CZU Lightning Complex Fire , River Fire , Carmel Fire , Dolan Fire , and SCU Lightning Complex Fire .
For residents in Santa Cruz County who may be impacted by the CZU Complex Fire, I encourage you to be aware of the available information and resources, including evacuation centers and shelters, from the County of Santa Cruz website and Office of Emergency Services website . You also can sign-up to receive email notifications with updates on the fire and other hazards here and follow the CALFIRE San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit on Twitter .
For residents in Monterey County who may be impacted by the River, Carmel, or Dolan fires, I encourage you to be aware of the available resources and information, including evacuation centers and shelters, from the Monterey County Office of Emergency Service website . You also can sign-up to receive email notifications with updates on the fires and other hazards here and follow the CALFIRE Public Affairs Bureau of Monterey County on Twitter . For updates on the status of the Dolan Fire, follow the Los Padres National Forest on Twitter and Facebook .
For residents in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties who may be impacted by the SCU Lightning Complex Fire, I encourage you to be aware of the available resources and information, including evacuation centers and shelters, from the City of Gilroy website . You also can sign-up to receive notifications with updates on the fire and other hazards in San Benito County here and the City of Gilroy here and follow the CALFIRE Public Affairs Bureau of Santa Clara County on Twitter .
Federal Response to the Wildfires
FEMA Disaster Declaration:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted a federal Major Disaster Declaration for Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Our counties were included in this declaration, only after intensive pressure on the Trump Administration and extensive assistance by the California Governor’s Office. That type of FEMA declaration releases federal funds to be used to help individuals and communities affected by wildfires in those two counties.
FEMA also awarded Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) grants to the Central Coast. Those FMAGs were granted only after a request was made at the onset of the fires. FMAGs will assist local and state agencies responding to the River Fire , Carmel Fire , CZU Lightning Complex Fire , and SCU Lightning Complex Fire and reimburse up to 75% of their eligible fire suppression costs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved a temporary waiver that will allow CalFresh participants in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties to purchase hot foods with their benefits through September 23, 2020. A request was made and granted by the USDA for these waivers that will ensure that those who evacuated, lost their homes, or are fighting on the frontlines of these fires have access to the nutritious food they need during this challenging time.
Federal Recovery Assistance
Recovery assistance from FEMA may be available to help individuals rebuild, repair and replace housing and other personal property not covered by insurance.
Individuals who were impacted by the fires should apply for FEMA assistance in the following ways:
Small Business Administration (SBA) loans also may be available to individuals and businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, inventory, and supplies, or to cover working capital costs. Homeowners and renters may also be eligible for SBA loans to repair or replace disaster-related damages to homes or personal property.
After registering with FEMA, businesses and homeowners that would like to apply for SBA loans can do so online at: http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans .
Please call me at my offices in Salinas, Santa Cruz, or Washington, D.C. or contact me online if you have any questions about federal assistance, problems with a federal agency, or need additional assistance during the wildfires or thereafter.