Mountain residents, property owners, and businesses affected by the late winter blizzard are now eligible for assistance from state and federal agencies, including FEMA, thanks to the efforts of Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe and various County agencies who advocated and worked closely with state and federal decision makers to secure aid for local communities.
Acting on a County emergency declaration made under Rowe’s leadership and then a request by the Governor, FEMA added San Bernardino County to the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration approved by the President covering several California counties affected by winter storms. FEMA’s action makes the county eligible for Individual Assistance support, providing San Bernardino County residents, property owners, and businesses with access to additional state and federal aid and recovery resources.
“I am pleased that the state and federal governments have acknowledged the magnitude of this disaster,” said Chair Rowe, whose Third District includes the areas that were hit the hardest by the winter storms. “I will continue to do everything I can to advocate for our mountain residents and businesses as they try to recover.”
FEMA’s Individual Assistance program makes affected residents eligible to apply for grants to help pay for temporary housing and essential home repairs as well as other serious disaster-related needs, such as replacement of damaged personal property and expenses for transportation, childcare, moving and storage.
Homeowners and renters seeking assistance are encouraged to begin the process by registering with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, at https://www.
Applicants receiving an initial rejection are encouraged to visit the soon-to-be-established Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). The DRC will open at a location in the mountain communities and host representatives from a full slate of state and federal agencies who will help residents and property owners, including those who are initially rejected, with any and all forms of assistance available to them. The location and operating hours of the DRC will be announced when a site is secured.
Businesses and nonprofit agencies, including churches, are encouraged to register with the U.S. Small Business Administration at https://
Residents and businesses are advised that state and federal resources will likely not provide 100 coverage for damage and other losses. It is important for property owners to work with their insurance companies.
On March 14 the County submitted an Initial Damage Estimate to the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) reporting $143,185,056 in losses to private property. At the time, the County knew of 302 damaged homes, 42 of which had been destroyed and 38 others having sustained major damage. Out of 46 nonresidential/commercial properties listed, 10 were marked destroyed and seven were listed with major damage.
An additional $16,633,550 in costs and losses were reported for public agencies. This included debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, public buildings and equipment, and personnel overtime costs.
By March 16, ongoing assessments had pushed that $159,818,606 total to $247,667,278.