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10/31/19 7:00PM Sonoma County Press Release

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 31, 2019

Media Line County of Sonoma: (707) 565-3040 

Email: (redacted)

Local Assistance Center to Open in Healdsburg Center to provide residents affected by Kincade Fire with services and support 

SANTA ROSA, CA - Residents impacted by the Kincade Fire can access recovery services and resources at the Local Assistance Center (LAC) which will open Monday, November 4, 2019 at the Healdsburg Community Center, 1557 Healdsburg Ave. The LAC will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Wednesday, November 6, 2019.

The LAC may remain open after this date if needed. Language access services, including Spanish interpretation will be available. Government agencies and non-profits will be available to answer questions, offer resources and take applications to determine eligibility for various available resources. All Sonoma County residents can access services regardless of immigration status. 

The agencies at the LAC will include:

County of Sonoma Departments: 

● Permit Sonoma will provide information to help property owners understand the permitting process for recovery and rebuilding. 

● Human Services Department will take applications for CalFresh food benefits and Medi-Cal insurance. 

● Health Services Department will have representatives and information from Animal Services, Environmental Health, and Behavioral Health to provide mental health support and referral. 

● Community Development Commission will support housing needs. 

● Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector and Assessor's Office for property tax and assessment information.

● Economic Development Board to support local businesses.

California State Agencies

● California Office of Emergency Services 

● Department of Motor Vehicles for those needing identification or driver licenses. 

● Department of Insurance for insurance support. 

● Employment Development Department for assistance with applications for unemployment benefits. 

● Franchise Tax Board for personal tax support. 

● Contractors State Licensing Board for contracting support and resources. 

● California Tax and Fee Administration for business tax support.

The Sonoma County Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) is coordinating non-profit organization participation at the LAC.

The COAD is a coalition of non-profits that came together in response to the 2017 Fires and is reactivating to respond to community needs from this disaster. 

The LAC will have information on topics related to fire recovery, including debris drop-off locations for non-hazardous waste and dates and times for hazardous waste drop offs as well as important health and safety information. 

A list of participating LAC agencies and other recovery resources will soon be available at SoCoEmergency.org/recover

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Outage

PG&E began inspecting lines and beginning to restore power and gas yesterday. They are restoring gas as well but full restoration may take until the weekend.

New Developments:

We are fortunate that most of our 190,000 evacuated residents were allowed to return home yesterday, including residents of Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg and Geyserville.

Those who live close to the fire remain under evacuation, including areas of Mark West, Knights Valley, east of Geyserville and east of Windsor. There are currently 5,788 still under mandatory evacuation. (For detail descriptions, see SoCoEmergency.org.)

We know you are also eager to get home, but we ask you to please be patient as we get control of this fire.

Returning Home

We know everyone is eager to get home, but we remind you it may take a little time to get back. You may experience traffic delays as communities return home. 

The size of this evacuation was unprecedented for us, and the decision was not made lightly. We are immensely grateful to everyone who got themselves and their families out of harm's way. 

When returning home, be food safe: Throw out any food that was without refrigeration for more than four hours. When it doubt, throw it out. It's better to replace food than risk getting ill.

Garbage collection will resume on its regular schedule in communities that had been under evacuation. Recology will not be charging extra if you have extra waste with at your next pick up. 

You can find a variety of tips on how to safely return home in SoCoEmergency.org under the "Returning Home" tab.

Shelters Remain Open

For those who remain under evacuation, shelters remain open, ready to receive and help anyone who needs a place to stay overnight, a place to rest, or a place to get some emotional support. You can find shelter information at SoCoEmergency.org, by calling 2-1-1.

The cold weather warning remains in effect. If you're evacuated, we encourage you to visit a shelter rather than remain in your vehicle or a tent. Lengthy exposure to cold temperatures can cause hypothermia. 

800 people in shelters as of midnight last night.

  • Hospitals are open, you can check our social media for the most current information.

AIR QUALITY 

To assess air quality during wildfire or emergency conditions, the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District recommends reviewing websites in the following order. 

● AirNow Fire Most accurate source for available fine Particulate Matter (PM) measurements. 

● PurpleAir Provides the most cautious health-based numbers. (Cazadero Fire Station is in the process of installing a Purple Air Monitor which will be linked to our website).

● District Data Provide accurate measurements of PM-10 levels, a good indicator of ash concentrations during wildfire conditions. 

● AirNow Current AQI (and Forecast) Forecasts air quality.

SCHOOL CLOSURES 

Sonoma County Office of Education has a list of school closures for Thursday, October 24 athttps://www.scoe.org/storm-update.html Parents are encouraged to go to their school/district website for the most up-to-date information. 

Stay Safe

Stay vigilant. Make sure you are signed up for up for emergency alerts through SoCoAlert and Nixle. 

Check SoCoEmergency.org for the evacuation map and other emergency news and safety advice. 

Call 2-1-1 if you have non-emergency questions about evacuation areas or non-emergency assistance with evacuation. 

For individuals who may remain unsheltered due to the fire evacuations, we encourage you to visit one of the available evacuation shelters rather than remain in your vehicle or a tent. Lengthy exposure to cold temperatures can cause hypothermia. Hypothermia left untreated can be deadly. 

Take care of yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors.

VOLUNTEERING AND MAKING DONATIONS

 As the disaster response continues, the Red Cross will assess how new volunteers can support the operation. 

Red Cross reminds donors that collecting and sending food, clothing and household items often is not needed. 

The best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation, which they can use for what they need most.

Go to redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 9099 to make a $10 donation.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES 

For questions about evacuations and resources, dial 2-1-1. Do not dial 9-1-1 unless it is an emergency.