Fire Recovery: October 2017 District Report
A Message from Bill Dodd
This month our region was hit by devastating wildfires, including the worst wildfire in our state’s history. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires.
State, federal, and local governments are working on recovery efforts, and resources are available to help those impacted by the fires. Examples include: unemployment benefits, debris removal, tax relief, business assistance, and housing assistance.
I am grateful for the heroic fire and emergency personnel who have worked tireless to save lives and homes. In the midst of tragedy, it is heartening to see our communities band together to help our neighbors in need. Supporting the swift recovery of those impacted by the fires is my top priority. We are all in this together, and we will recover.
As always, my office is available to help you with a state agency or answer any questions you might have. You can contact me by visiting my website.
In this Issue:
Senator, 3rd District
To learn about services, resources, and financial assistance available to those who have been impacted by the wildfires, please visit www.wildfirerecovery.org.
Information includes: FEMA Individual Assistance, Food and Donations, Medical Services, Mental Health & Wellness, Housing, Financial Help, Replacing Vital Documents, Unemployment, Job Resources, Tax Relief, Veterans Benefits, and more.
I have hosted several community meetings across the district to get officials from all levels of government to answer your questions. Click here to view one of those town halls.
Debris Removal Overview
You must submit a right-of-entry form to allow the government to clear debris from your property at no out of pocket cost to you. You can also get more information and FAQs on debris removal from Sonoma County or Napa County.
Ensuring you have defensible space, an emergency plan and emergency kit are critical in preparing for wildfire. I urge residents to visit CAL FIRE’s www.readyforwildfire.org, to learn how you can prepare.
Additionally, most fires start in the home and that is why it is important for every home to have a smoke detector. Indeed, according to the California Building Code, all residences must have one. They should be installed on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.
Additionally, you can:
- Sign up for Nixle alerts by texting your ZIP CODE to 888777 or sign up online. This app allows government agencies to send messages to local residents via phone, email and web. Information is delivered almost instantly.
- Download the Ready for Wildifre app, from CAL FIRE, which includes safety checklists, customized wildfire texts or push notifications, fire maps, and more.
Hire or File a Complaint Regarding a Contractor
Contractor's State License BoardThe Contractors State License Board (CSLB) verifies contractor licenses, investigates complaints, and provides helpful information about hiring a licensed contractor. For information on hiring or filing a complaint regarding a contractor, disaster victims may call CSLB’s Disaster Hotline M-F from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 1-800-962-1125, or the 24-hour automated telephone response system, 1-800-321-CSLB (2752). Licenses can also be checked online at: https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/onlineservices/checklicenseII/checklicense.aspx.
California’s anti-price gouging statute, Penal Code Section 396, prohibits raising the price of many consumer goods and services by more than 10% after an emergency has been declared. Local laws may also contain their own prohibitions on price gouging. To view the FAQs on price gouging, click here.
- DFEH Fair Housing is the Law Fact Sheet Condensed
- DFEH Fair Housing is the Law Fact Sheet
- Price Gouging in Wildfire Areas: California Real Estate Commissioner Warns Against It
There are a number of good, local charities to help victims of the wildfires. However, there have also been reports of scams seeking to take advantage of victims or people seeking to make donations. California’s Attorney General regulates charities and the professional fundraisers who solicit on their behalf. The purpose of this oversight is to protect charitable assets for their intended use and ensure that the charitable donations contributed by Californians are not misapplied and squandered through fraud or other means. To view the information the Attorney General has on a specific charity, please click here.