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Community Bridges is your partner in Disaster Response and Emergency Preparedness!

In the face of adversity, the strength of a community is truly put to the test. Community Bridges has been at the forefront of supporting and uplifting the diverse communities of Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County. Our commitment to the well-being of our neighbors has been unwavering, especially in times of crisis.

We believe in the power of readiness and education when it comes to disaster response and emergency preparedness. We understand that emergencies come in many forms – floods, storms, earthquakes, fires – and being prepared for any scenario is vital to ensuring the safety and well-being of our community.

That’s why we are excited to announce our continued commitment to multi-lingual and multi-cultural emergency preparedness efforts throughout Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County. We’re partnering with local agencies to expand our reach and provide even more comprehensive support.

Use the links at right to sign up for emergency alerts from Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, learn your evacuation zone, make an evacuation plan, and make sure to pack a “go-bag.” 

To learn more or express your interest in our emergency preparedness initiatives, please get in touch with us at info@cbridges.org. Together, we can build a safer, more resilient community that can weather any storm. 

Pajaro Unmet Needs Disaster Assistance Program

We’re excited to announce that we have been selected as a nonprofit partner in the County of Monterey’s Pajaro Unmet Needs Disaster Assistance Program – a unique and unprecedented opportunity made possible through the hard work of local government, invaluable community partners, and the State of California. 

This program, backed by $20 million in recovery funds secured by our state legislators, will assist individuals, households, and small businesses affected by the levee breach. 

As a trusted nonprofit partner, Community Bridges’ Family Resource Collective will oversee the distribution of $5.4 million in individual and household recovery assistance along with our partners are Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey. We were selected as a nonprofit partner in charge of this distribution because of our experience as disaster case managers and proven record of assisting survivors from multiple local natural disasters, including the CZU wildfires, floods, and atmospheric rivers, as well as the California COVID-19 rental assistance program.  

The Application Center officially opened its doors on March 27 at Pajaro Park, providing individuals with the opportunity to complete applications in person. Operating on specific days and times until April 27, the center welcomes applicants during the following hours:

  • Tuesday & Wednesday: 10am to 7pm
  • Thursday & Friday: 2pm to 7pm
  • Saturdays: 10am to 2pm
  • Closed on Mondays and Sundays

For more detailed information about the program, individuals are encouraged to visit readymontereycounty.org/recover or communitybridges.org/emergency.

For more information about the program, please click HERE. To read the official press release from the County of Monterey, click HERE

Pajaro Emergency Preparedness Events

With winter fast approaching and possible heavy rain and storms on the horizon, Community Bridges’ Family Resource Collective hosted a series of emergency preparedness events in Pajaro to help residents prepare for natural disasters.  

Thank you to our partners for joining us for these events: County of Monterey, California, North County Fire Protection District of Monterey County, Catholic Charities Monterey, Regeneration-Pájaro Valley Climate Action, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, and the American Red Cross.

If you are interested in information shared during these events, contact info@cbridges.org


Be Ready to Evacuate

  1. Know the difference between an evacuation orderwarning, and advisory.
    1. Order: Immediate threat to life. This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is lawfully closed to public access.
    2. Warning: Potential threat to life and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate, and those with pets and livestock should leave now.
    3. Advisory: Be on alert and follow county recommendations
  2. 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.
  3. Older adults and people with disabilities should schedule a ride through Lift Line before an evacuation warning is upgraded to an evacuation order. To schedule a ride, call 831-688-9663.
  4. 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.
  5. Have food, water and an emergency battery or charging (hand crank) in case of a power outage to keep informed.
  6. Do not travel on waterways of more than 3 inches. This can move cars and sweep you away.
  7. If you cannot safely escape, stay in place.
  8. Prepare your house to limit the damage. If you live in a flood zone, don’t leave items on the floor and give yourself 6 inches to limit the damage.

Essential Items for Your Emergency Go-Bag

Prepare for the unexpected! Explore the must-haves for your Emergency Go-Bag tailored specifically for Pajaro Valley residents. From essential supplies to local resources, this video guides you on creating a well-equipped go-bag to keep you and your loved ones safe in emergencies. Don’t wait—be ready for whatever comes your way!

Critical Steps to Take During a Flood

In this informative video, discover crucial actions to take during a flood. We’ve tailored this guide specifically for you from evacuation strategies to emergency contacts and local resources. Be well-prepared to face flood situations head-on and safeguard your community. Watch now and ensure your safety during unexpected events.

Where to Get Local Help

Watsonville/South Santa Cruz CountyLa Manzana Community Resources

  • Location: 521 Main St., Suite Y, Watsonville
  • Time: Monday-Friday, 9am to 4:30pm
  • Call: 831-724-2997

Santa CruzNueva Vista Community Resources

  • 711 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz 
  • Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, 9am to 5pm (Closed Thursdays)
  • Phone 831-423-5741

Live Oak/Mid-CountyLive Oak Community Resources

  • Location: 1740 17th Ave., Santa Cruz
  • Time: Monday-Thursday, 9am to 5pm
  • Call: 831-476-7284

Felton/San Lorenzo Valley: Mountain Community Resources

  • Location: 6134 Highway 9, Felton
  • Time: Monday and Thursday from 9am to 4:30pm and Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am to 12pm (by appointment 1-5pm). 
  • Call: 831-335-6600

All locations are closed for lunch between noon and 1pm. 

2023 March Storm Recovery

Pajaro Flood Response & Recovery

Community Bridges is one of the lead local agencies providing one-on-one immediate and long-term services to families impacted by the March 2023 floods in Pajaro. Our Pajaro Valley Storm Recovery Plan was launched in the immediate aftermath of the March 11th flood in Pajaro.

Since March 11th, Community Bridges has distributed more than $1.7 million in economic assistance thanks to thousands of donations to our flood relief fund and support from partnering nonprofits and our foundation partners. 

Community Bridges is prioritizing grants for families, people living at or below 80% of the area median income, and people whose residences have sustained major damage and are yellow, orange, or red-tagged, according to the County of Monterey’s Damage Assessment Map

More than 1,000 people have accessed our three-wave economic assistance program below:


The first wave began immediately after the flood and has continued. In this wave, applicants may receive a $500 grant if:

  • They lived in Pajaro and were displaced by the March 11 flood
  • Their home or property was damaged during the flood
  • They have completed our Damage Assessment Form

People are encouraged to visit La Manzana Community Resources at 521 Main Street, Suite Y in downtown Watsonville or the Pajaro Long-Term Recovery Center at 14 Porter Drive in Pajaro if they have yet to receive assistance from Community Bridges or the participating organizations below:

  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey
  • Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc.
  • Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance
  • Monarch Services

If you have been denied but feel an error has occurred, please visit La Manzana or the Long-Term Recovery Center for assistance.


The second wave began in May. People who completed the Damage Assessment Form and received assistance during the first wave do NOT need to reapply to receive assistance in the second wave. Community Bridges staff will contact you to set up an appointment.

In this wave, grants will range between $1,450-2,750 and be made available as donations and government assistance allow. In this wave, applicants may receive a grant if they can:

  • Show proof of damages/lost wages
  • Show proof of address (lease, paystub, utility bill, license, school documents)
  • Show proof that they have applied for federal assistance and insurance claims (if they qualify and is available)
  • Fall at or below 80% of Area Median Income or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Limit
  • Home suffered major damage (orange or red tagged), according to the County of Monterey’s Damage Assessment Map 


The third wave is for extreme cases assisted by case managers through Community Bridges and Catholic Charities. This wave will begin in tandem with the second wave, as a long-term recovery group will assist families and individuals who need additional support.

There is no range for grant funding, as money will be distributed as needed to help with the following:

  • Permitting costs
  • Building materials
  • Contractors
  • Insurance deductible
  • Loss of tools of trade, including transportation
  • Potential loss of home, gentrification or displacement
  • Insurance coverage stop-gap support for vehicles and homes


Storm Assistance for Immigrants

In response to the series of storms across California in December 2022 through April 2023, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is providing state-funded storm recovery services to provide disaster relief case management and direct assistance to eligible individuals who experienced hardship from the storms and cannot access federal assistance due to immigration status.

Direct assistance payments will be provided for the purpose of helping storm-impacted individuals and households cover certain necessary costs including housing, food, and transportation costs.

Qualifying adults will receive $1,500 and children (under 18 years old) will receive $500, with a maximum of $4,500 per household. A household is defined as individuals who live and purchase and prepare meals together.

Storm recovery services are available in California counties where the President has issued a Major Disaster Declaration and approved Individual Assistance (IA) in those counties because of the impact of the storms. 

Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz, and Ventures will implement the program in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. 

For more information about the program, click HERE

FEMA Disaster Assistance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offered assistance for families impacted by the March 11 flood. The deadline to apply for individual assistance was Sept. 1. People who need help with their applications or appeals can visit:

  • Pajaro Long-Term Recovery Center: 14 Porter Drive, Pajaro. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am-4:30pm 
  • La Manzana: 521 Main Street, Suite Y, Watsonville. Open Monday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm

FEMA Individual and Household Assistance may include:

San Lorenzo Valley 'Bomb Cyclone'

San Lorenzo Valley residents impacted by the “Bomb Cyclone” in March can visit Mountain Community Resources at 6134 Highway 9 for help with insurance claims, FEMA applications and appeals, and replacement of tools of the trade, among other things. 

Mountain Community Resources is open Monday and Thursday from 9am to 4:30pm (closed from lunch between noon and 1pm) and Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am to 12pm. It is open by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday between 1-5pm. Call 831-335-6600 for additional information. 

2023 Winter Storm Recovery


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 through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants and Small Business Administration loans.

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.

The deadline to submit FEMA applications was March 16.

If you received a denial, visit one of our Family Resource Collective centers. A denial is often not a rejection, but an ask for additional information and documents.



Community Bridges hosted storm recovery information sessions for residents of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties via Zoom and in person. Experts on insurance and emergency response were present to answer questions, and we also connected attendees with resources available to them through our community partners. Please help share these recovery resources with our community. Click here to view recordings of meetings and slides.

2020 CZU Fire Recovery


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 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.

To support frontline fire recovery services in your community, please visit the Santa Cruz Community Foundation Fire Relief Fund