SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California businesses and residents affected by the San Pablo Avenue Fire that occurred March 27, 2017, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Linda McMahon announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services on April 10.
The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties.
“SBA is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for businesses and residents affected by the disaster,” said McMahon. “Getting our businesses and communities up and … continue reading »
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the State of California to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides from February 1 to February 23, 2017.
Federal funding is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides in Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, Sacramento, San … continue reading »
What does a typical day on the job look like for Cal OES public information officer? Well, the answer to that is – there is no typical day. One thing you can count on is that it’s likely there won’t be a press release in draft mode; only for special occasions are press releases written. More often than not, our PIOs are busy creating more engaging forms of communication, from short and longer form videos, to daily blogs to podcasts and social media. Our PIOs also get their hands dirty to get the public and stakeholders the information they need in a more interesting way. They travel by 4-wheel drive, Snow Cat, helicopter and any other mode of transportation to take you to the story and the story makers, and give you the best access for the best perspective. It’s all about transparency and proof of performance and readiness for the tax dollars invested.
So, in this episode, three of our PIOs sit down to talk about what it’s like to be a few of the faces and voices for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Monica Vargas, Robb Mayberry and Jon Gudel have all been involved in a wide range of missions and assignments for Cal OES and are here to share their stories, lessons and tips, all valuable information whether you’re a PIO or not.
Take a long, hard look at the photos in this story. These were posted on social media by two people on the scene of flash flooding that devastated the El Capitan State Beach campground in Santa Barbara County on January 20th. Santa Barbara Fire officials say nearly two dozen people had to be rescued, and luckily no one was killed. KTLA reported that rescues began before 10:30 a.m., when mud, tree branches and debris clogged a creek at El Capitan State Beach and caused runoff to overflow the park’s campground, according to Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason. The flooding inundated tents, yurts and campground buildings and caused a number of cabins and parked cars to float away and eventually become pinned in a pile of debris, according to Eliason.
In this, the 23rd, episode we sit down with Luis “Vance” Taylor, who is the Chief of the Office of Access and Functional Needs at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He is a person who has not let his limited mobility slow him down in his personal or professional worlds. You will find out how his determination, experience and mom’s words of wisdom has helped him excel in the world of emergency management.
As chief of the OAFN Vance is responsible for ensuring the needs of individuals with disabilities and persons with access and functional needs are identified before, during and after a disaster and then integrated within the state’s emergency management systems.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Vance was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy as a child and uses a power chair. He has worked in Washington, D.C. as an advisor for two different members of Congress, directed security policy at a national association and been a principal at a top-ranked homeland security and emergency management consulting firm, Catalyst Partners, LLC. Vance is a nationally recognized public speaker and advocate for individuals with disabilities.
Vance has a Master’s degree in homeland security from the University of Connecticut and an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in communications. He is married to his sweetheart, Casey, and they have two beautiful daughters, Isabelle and Sammy. Vance and his family live in Rancho Cordova, CA.
This time 20 years ago, 1996 ended with great snow pack in the higher elevations of California; but that changed with the New Year. January of 1997, rain was not turning to snow like during the weeks prior, and existing snow pack was melting. That led to record flooding from NorCal to SoCal, which destroyed homes, took lives and caused more than $2 billion in property damage. It was also a tough reminder that each of us needs to prepare ourselves for the time when floodwaters come lapping at our own doorsteps. There are countless ways to do that, and Cal OES has resources dedicated to that topic below. Meanwhile, click the link to watch the video KCRA-TV in Sacramento put together of the devastating floods year of 1997. It’s an excellent retrospective, an overall … continue reading »
Former Californian, and former CBS Sacramento news anchor, Pallas Hupe’ Cotter now lives in New Zealand and ironically has lived through the largest earthquake of her life.
Just two minutes after midnight local time, on 14 November, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand’s South Island 55 miles north east of Christchurch; the epicenter was reportedly at the coastal town of Kaikoura. The primary quake was followed by a 6.8 magnitude aftershock later that same day, just one of 313 aftershocks recorded within 13 hours by Geonet, New Zealand’s national earthquake service. Two people died and damage is estimated at more than $2 billion. Kaikoura and its 2000 residents were worst affected; they’re cut off from roads due to landslides, and are also without power or phone service.
Despite a very wet October and November, California continues to remain in severe drought conditions over much of the state. Therefore, we all need to keep our focus set on conservation. And let’s not forget that wildfire season is really year-round now. As of this posting there are two active fires burning (more info).
So, today we look back at the Cedar Fire, a wildfire that broke out in San Diego County in October of 2003 and burned into November, with full containment coming on November 4th.
By the time it was all said and done, the blaze burned more than 280,000 acres, destroyed 2, 820 buildings which includes 2,232 homes, and killed 15 people. According to CalFIRE the … continue reading »
Episode 20 was recorded on the road in San Luis Obispo during the 2016 Ingestion Pathway Exercises, a multi-day testing of state and local counties by FEMA for nuclear incidents at Diablo Canyon. We talk with Dr. Penny Borenstein, the Health Officer for the County of San Luis Obispo. She talks about how her health department and others might get involved in nuclear incidents immediately following a radiation breach. She also talks about other hot topics in SLO such as antibiotic resistance, secondary hospital-based infections, Zika virus, Valley Fever, drought, and West Nile virus.
In her position, Dr. Borenstein has been a staunch advocate for advancing the public’s health through disease control programs, health education, access to health care, and policy development. One of her first initiatives was a departmental reorganization which resulted in formation of two new divisions – Health Promotion and Health Care Services. The Health Promotion Division created a unified focus on population-based prevention. Staffed primarily at the outset with a small number of health educators and nutritionists working in Tobacco Control, WIC and Childhood Obesity Prevention, the unit now also has programs in Oral Health and Injury Prevention. The division also works extensively on community health improvement through a range of policy initiatives aimed at food systems, climate change, the built environment, and air quality.
Prior to moving to California in 2008, she held several public health leadership positions in the Mid-Atlantic region, and was the founder and Executive Director of Baltimore HealthCare Access, Inc., a non- profit agency devoted to assuring access to health care services for low income persons and special populations. A native New Yorker, Dr. Borenstein received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse. She received her pediatrics training at the University of Connecticut in Hartford and a Master’s Degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
California approaches another winter uncertain about what Mother Nature has in store for our drought-stricken state. One thing we are certain about here at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is that we all need to be ready for whatever she sends our way.
Let us not forget that heavy rain fell during December of 2014 causing widespread damage and causing the governor to declare a state of emergency in four counties; and we were in the middle of our current drought.
Below is an excerpt from an OES News story published then, along with a video produced about the flooding in Glenn County.
Originally Published on December 11, 2014
Weather officials say this is one of the strongest storms in years in terms of … continue reading »