Disaster Recovery & Emergency preparedness

Resources to recover and prepare

2023 WINTER Storms

RECOVERY

FEMA Disaster ASSISTANCE

President Biden authorized a major disaster declaration for Santa Cruz County on Jan. 14. The declaration is meant to assist local governments, nonprofits, families, and individuals in recovering from the recent winter storms. This may include financial assistance for cleanup and sanitation, repairs and other services for eligible agencies and households. Additional resources, including referral lists and legal aid, may be available.
 
Visit the links below to get started, and contact our Family Resource Collective locations if you need assistance.
 
Disaster Assistance Basics: fema.gov/assistance
 
Assistance for Families and Individuals: fema.gov/assistance/individual
 
 

Disaster Recovery Centers

Santa Cruz County

Two Disaster Recovery Centers have opened in Santa Cruz County. One is located at Ramsay Park in Watsonville, and the other at the Felton Branch Library in Felton.
 
Storm-impacted community members will have access to staff from FEMA, the California Office of Emergency Services, the County of Santa Cruz, the City of Watsonville, and other agencies and organizations that specialize in emergency response and disaster recovery.
 
The centers are open daily from 9:00am to 7:00pm.
 

Monterey County

Monterey County has a virtual local assistance center available here, and an in-person local assistance center in Salinas. 

The local assistance center will open at 9:00am Saturday, January 28 and remain open until Sunday, February 5 at 7:00pm. It will be located at the County of Monterey North Building at  1441 Schilling Pl, Salinas.

The Monterey County Local Assistance Center will help residents impacted by the storms in flooding in Monterey County and includes staff from VIDA partner organizations, the County of Monterey, the California Office of Emergency Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and various state and local agencies and nonprofits that include disaster recovery as part of their mission.

Residents can access information and resources needed for recovery, regardless of the type of damage suffered, location of impacted residence or business, insurance status, immigration status, or any other factor.

Translation services will be available onsite.

When possible, bring proof of identification and proof of residency (birth certificates, utility bills, leases, Pay Stubs, or IDs etc.) to assist with eligibility requirements.

 

Local Financial Assistance

You may qualify for cash assistance to pay for a hotel, temporary rental housing, basic household items or related needs not covered by insurance or other sources. Santa Cruz County and Pajaro Valley community organizations are providing direct financial assistance to local residents and connecting them to other resources. 

Dial 211, or contact any of the resource centers below:

  • Watsonville/Pajaro Valley, La Manzana Community: (831) 724-2997
  • San Lorenzo Valley, Mountain Community Resources: (831) 335-6600
  • Live Oak & Mid-County, Live Oak Family Resource Center: (831) 476-7284
  • Santa Cruz, Nueva Vista Community Resources: (831) 423-5747
  • Davenport & North Coast, Davenport Resource Service Center: (831) 425-8115
  • Pajaro/Monterey County, Catholic Charities: (831) 316-9122
 

FREE CLEANUP TOOL RENTAL

Community Bridges is providing cleanup tools and resources at our Family Resource Collective (FRC) locations to help our community recover from the devastating floods and mudslides produced by the recent unprecedented winter storms.
 
Community members can rent cleanup items such as air movers, dehumidifiers, wet/dry vacs, carpet cleaners, push brooms, and pressure washers, at no cost. Other single-use cleanup items, such as contractor bags, gloves, sponges, and disinfectant are also available for the community through generous support of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, American Red Cross and Home Depot Foundation grants.
 
These items are available at the following FRCs (We ask that you call ahead and check for availability):
  • La Manzana Community Resources – 521 Main Street, Ste. Y, Watsonville | 831-724-2997 
  • Live Oak Community Resources – 1740 17th Ave., Santa Cruz | 831-476-7284
  • Mountain Community Resources – 6134 Highway 9, Felton | 831-335-6600
 
To rent the equipment, simply complete a damage assessment form and liability release form at one of our FRC locations. Equipment is due and will need to be returned no more than of one week after check out or any time before then. We would like to give as many people as possible the opportunity to utilize the equipment.
 
Community Bridges purchased the majority of the cleanup items available for rent and disbursement through the use of strategic agency reserves. In an effort to expand the program, we are asking the community to donate lightly used tools and new single-use items for the cleanup effort.
 
Donations can be dropped off at any of our participating FRC locations.  
 

Flood Recovery Information sessions

Community Bridges hosted flood recovery information sessions for Santa Cruz County residents via Zoom and in person on Thursday, January 12th and Friday, January 13th, and for Monterey County residents via Zoom on Thursday, January 26th. Experts on insurance information and flood claims were present to answer questions, and we also connected attendees with resources available to them through our community partners. Please help share these recovery resource meetings with our community.
 
Zoom meetings:
South Santa Cruz County webinar 
Thursday, January 12th
Click here to view the meeting recording.
Click here to view the slide presentation.
 
Click here to listen to recording in English.
Click here to listen to recording in Spanish.
Click here to listen to recording in Mixteco.
Click here to listen to recording in Triqui.
 
North County Santa Cruz County webinar 
Friday, January 13th
Click here to view the meeting recording.
Click here to view the slide presentation.
 
Click here to listen to recording in English.
Click here to listen to recording in Spanish.
Click here to listen to recording in Mixteco.

Click here to listen to recording in Triqui.

Monterey County webinar
Thursday, January 26th
Click here to view the meeting recording.
Click here to view the slide presentations.
Click here to listen to recording in English.
Click here to listen to recording in Spanish.
Click here to listen to recording in Mixteco.
 

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DISASTER LOANS

The Small Business Administration will offer low-interest disaster loans to California businesses and residents following the recent severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides.
 
Businesses and nonprofits 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 businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to 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 to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.
 
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 3.305% for businesses, 2.375% for nonprofits and 2.313% 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.
 
For information on the loan program, visit sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
 

COMMUNITY BRIDGES FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS

Community Bridges Family Resource Centers provide resource referral & coordination, financial assistance and public benefit enrollment. Please call or visit any of the locations listed below.

Felton: Mountain Community Resources, 6134 Highway 9
Monday and Thursday: 9am to 12:30pm, 1pm to 4:30pm
Tuesday and Wednesday: 9am to 12pm (by appointment 1-5pm)
Phone (831) 335-6600

Watsonville: La Manzana Community Resources, 521 Main St., Suite Y
Monday-Friday, 9am to 12pm, 1pm to 4:30pm
(831) 724-2997

Live Oak: Live Oak Community Resources, 1740 17th Ave.
Monday-Thursday, 9am to 12pm, 1pm to 5pm
(831) 476-7284

Santa Cruz: Nueva Vista Community Resources, 711 East Cliff Dr.
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, 9am to 12pm, 1pm to 5pm (Closed Thursdays)
Phone (831) 423-5741

CITY & COUNTY COMMUNICATIONS

BOULDER CREEK

BOIL WATER ADVISORY (Updated January 6, 2023 at 5:30pm)

Big Basin Water customers are advised to boil water for one minute before drinking, brushing teeth or food preparation. Customers will be notified once testing demonstrates the water is safe. The notice also will refer to this guide from the Centers for Disease Control on how to respond to boil-water advisories.  San Lorenzo Valley Water District has opened a free water station for Big Basin Water customers and others in need. The station, which operates 24 hours per day, is located at 13057 Highway 9, in downtown Boulder Creek, across from the District headquarters.

Prepardeness

BEFORE THE STORM

To prepare for sever weather events, do the following:

  • Sign up for CodeRED at scr911.org and download the CodeRED app for your phone. 
    Image courtesy of the County of Santa Cruz
  • Find and track your zone at community.zonehaven.com in the case an evacuation order or warning is issued for your neighborhood.
  • Track road closures at sccroadclosure.org and Cruz511.org.
  • Older adults and people with disabilities in need of transportation can schedule a ride via Lift Line (831) 688-9663.
  • Track real-time rain totals and local stream gages at santacruz.onerain.com
  • Follow the County of Santa Cruz Twitter account (@sccounty) for up-to-the-minute updates.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION TIPS

  1. Have a go bag ready with essential items: medicines, documents and important valuables (photos) in case of evacuation. Be ready to leave in 15 minutes.
  2. Every house and location is unique. If your area is susceptible to flooding be aware of your exits and likely routes out of the area.
  3. Have food, water and emergency battery or charging (hand crank) in case of power outage to keep informed.
  4. Do not travel on waterways of more than 3 inches. This can move cars and sweep you away.
  5. If you cannot safely escape, stay in place.
  6. Prepare your house to limit damage. If you live in a flood zone, don’t leave items on the floor and give yourself 6 inches to limit damage.
  7. After the incident, Family Resource Collective staff will help you file insurance claims and coordinate with insurance agents needed materials to document your claim and loss.
Use this checklist to prepare for an evacuation.

DEALING WITH DISASTERS

In a flood, move to higher ground. Be aware of drainage channels and other areas known to flood suddenly.

  • After a flood, stay away from downed power lines and designated disaster areas.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • If you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and take another route. Roads underearth may be damaged and impassable.
  • Don’t drive through floodwaters or around barricades. Only a few inches of water can sweep a vehicle off the road.
  • Stay out of standing floodwater. The dirty water can disguise hazards below the surface, such as deep holes and dangerous debris.
  • Stay weather aware of hazards and possible evacuations during storms. Watch local news or follow authoritative sources on social media, including the National Weather Service, Caltrans District 5, CHP Santa Cruz or other police and fire agencies.
  • Debris flow can also be a risk for those living near the CZU burn scar. The risk of debris flows is lower than in the past years and debris flow warning thresholds have been retired, but there is still an elevated risk compared to pre-fire conditions.
 
 

PG&E STORM PREPAREDNESS AND SAFETY TIPS

  • PG&E encourages customers to have a plan, prepare for power outages and above all else, stay safe.
  • Customers can get updates on outages in their neighborhood through a variety of channels.
  • Contact our outage information line at 1-800-743-5002
  • Access our Electric Outage Map online at pge.com
  • Customers can also log-in to their account through pge.com and sign up to receive proactive outage alerts through email, text or phone.
  • Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
  • Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
  • Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup.
  • Have fresh drinking water, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
  • Secure outdoor furniture: Deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines and property.
  • Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on power lines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
  • Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 8-1-1 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked

CZU Fire Recovery Resources

COMMUNITY BRIDGES RECOVERY RESOURCES

Through participation in the Santa Cruz County Long Term Recovery Group, Community Bridges and Catholic Charities provide Disaster Case Manager support for families in need of assistance as they navigate the rebuilding process following the CZU August 2020 Lightning Fire.

Disaster Case Managers provide one-on-one support to achieve effective communication with the Recovery Permit Center and connect families with resources, including funding through the Unmet Needs Committee for families that are experiencing rebuild funding gaps.

To connect with a Disaster Case Manager, please email CZUFireHelp@gmail.com or call 831-920-4764.

How To Help CZU Fire Survivors

To support frontline fire recovery services in your community, please visit:

Santa Cruz Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund

Community Bridges Fire Relief

Community Bridges is providing direct financial assistance, including grocery gift cards, to families impacted by the fire.

Emergency response twitter feed

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