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San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Robert Lovingood announced that the Small Business Administration will open a local office on Thursday to help homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the August Blue Cut Fire.
“Low-interest disaster loans available through the SBA will be essential for local residents to recover,” said Lovingood. “So many people have lost everything, so the SBA’s streamlined process will help get folks back on their feet.”
The Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be located at San Bernardino County Fire Station #305, 8331 Caliente Road, Hesperia, CA 92344. It will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays through Sept. 22. No appointment is necessary.
According to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received on Sept. 1, 2016, from Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
“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 Contreras-Sweet. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said SBA’s Santa Ana District Director J. Adalberto Quijada. “Beginning Thursday, Sept. 8, SBA representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application,” Quijada continued.
Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is Nov. 7, 2016. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 6, 2017.
A spectrum of assistance is available for Blue Cut Fire victims. San Bernardino County, local United Way agencies, the American Red Cross, and a variety of community partners have been working together since the Blue Cut Fire began to provide free and easily accessible services for people who lost their homes, documents and other possessions and need temporary support. 211 has operators standing by around the clock who can link fire victims to county, state, federal and nonprofit services.
The county homepage, www.sbcounty.gov, has links to services for the homeless and information on rebuilding homes. Anyone needing assistance as a result of the fire should call 211, which has a system established to conduct an initial assessment over the phone, then have an American Red Cross case worker visit those in need within 24 hours to conduct a more in-depth assessment. From there, it can be determined what help is needed.
Teaching incarcerated youth about the judicial system, outreach to the community by law enforcement, helping families break barriers to self-sufficiency and providing tax preparation assistance to residents are four County programs recognized today by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).
Every year, CSAC honors innovation and best practices in county government. This year, CSAC received a record 279 entries from 41 counties in California. San Bernardino County won three CSAC Awards in 2015 and 2014, five awards in 2013, three awards in 2012, two awards in 2011 and one award in 2010.
“These prestigious awards highlight the creativity and ingenuity of our County departments to improve the lives of our residents,” said James Ramos, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Congratulations to our employees for this much-deserved recognition of their work.”
The County’s recognition from CSAC continues a record of achievement following 45 awards received from the National Association of Counties (NACo) in July. NACo’s 2016 Achievement Awards recognized County departments that offered services from pet adoption campaigns to providing housing support to low-income families.
In today’s announcement, CSAC recognized the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office with a Challenge Award for the Gateway Mock Trial Competition where two teams of youth incarcerated in Juvenile Hall are coached by attorneys to try a fictional case and learn the judicial system along with other skills to build confidence. The competition is the first of its kind in the state of California.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department won a CSAC Merit Award for the Community Liaison Unit, which holds meetings and conducts outreach to minority communities, religious communities and other agencies to seek input and exchange information about their law enforcement concerns.
The San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department won a CSAC Merit Award for its Family Stabilization Intensive Case Management Collaboration. The program helps families who have barriers to participating in welfare-to-work activities by addressing needs such as lack of housing, car repairs and tattoo removal. The Department of Behavioral Health, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and other community-based organizations work together on this initiative.
The Transitional Assistance Department won a second CSAC Merit Award for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides low-income families with free tax preparation and job skills training. Due to the success of the County’s VITA program, the IRS and the State of California visited the County to gain a best-practice model to implement in other counties throughout the state.
CSAC will present this year’s awards to the winning departments at an upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting.
Residents affected by the Blue Cut Fire who need help with services and housing are urged to call 2-1-1 or 877-410-8829.
Click here for a guide to services available to fire victims.
Questions about how to go about rebuilding your home? Click here
Click here for information on asbestos testing and removal.
Interested in resources for the homeless in the High Desert? Click here
Click here for the application to have damaged property reassessed.
Click here for the required sworn statement to have vital records replaced.
Click here for information on the safe use of private wells and septic systems after a wildfire or call the San Bernardino County Division of Environmental Health Services for assistance at (800) 442-2283. Click here for a list of qualified local well drillers.
Click here for information and applications regarding the process for reestablishing electrical power to water well pumps.
Click here for disaster-related public health information.
Click here for a weather forecast from the National Weather Service regarding the Blue Cut Fire burned area.
For power outage information, please contact Southern California Edison at 800-655-4555. Edison will waive connection fees for total loss properties.
If you are aware of scam artists and price gougers preying on fire victims, contact the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office at (909) 382-7748.
Due to the generous donations of so many, the American Red Cross reports that current needs for items such as food, clothing and household goods for those impacted by the Blue Cut Fire have been met.
The Inland Empire United Way Fire Relief Fund is continuing to work with community partners to assess and address the unmet needs of those affected by the fire and is accepting cash donations to assist with this effort. Cash donations can be made online at www.IEUW.org/help, by texting RELIEF to 40403, or by check, made payable to Inland Empire United Way and sent to: IEUW Fire Fund, 9644 Hermosa Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga CA 91730
The County wants to hear from you!
Over the past eight months, the Countywide Plan team has been visiting various unincorporated communities meeting with people and learning more about what people value about where they live and work. To date, more than 1,000 people have attended Countywide Plan workshops and shared their ideas about the future of their communities. The County has received thousands of comments on community values, local issues, and ways to make improvements.
Starting this September and running through January 2017, the County will be out in the field again soliciting feedback from 15 additional unincorporated communities, with two workshops conducted in each community. The first workshop for the first seven communities have been scheduled for September with the second workshops scheduled for November (see below). The County will update existing Community Plans or create new plans based on local input.
Visit countywideplan.com/cp for meeting locations, additional information, and to sign up for email updates.
WORKSHOPS SCHEDULED (6-8:30 p.m.)
Angelus Oaks, September 14 & November 9
Homestead Valley (Landers, Flamingo Heights, Johnson Valley, and Yucca Mesa), September 12 & November 17
Lytle Creek, September 12 & November 7
Morongo Valley, September 14 & November 16
Mt. Baldy, September 13 & November 14
Pioneertown, September 13 & November 15
San Antonio Heights, September 15 & November 10
WORKSHOPS TO BE SCHEDULED (November through January)
- El Mirage
- Newberry Springs
- Oak Hills
- Oro Grande
Both workshops will provide the opportunity for those who live or conduct business in each community to talk one-on-one with County representatives and in groups with their community neighbors. At the first workshop, the County will facilitate discussions and obtain input about the local area’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges, and identify goals and objectives to improve each community. The second workshop will focus on specific implementation strategies and tools to achieve each community’s goals and objectives.
Visit the Community Plans website at countywideplan.com/cp for more information, including a comparison between the content of the existing Community Plans and the new Community Plans. You can also find out more information about the overall Countywide Plan (an update of the current General Plan).
If your community is not identified on the website for a community plan and you would like the County to consider creating one in your area, please email the County at CommunityPlans@lus.sbcounty.gov.
ABOUT THE COUNTYWIDE PLAN AND COMMUNITY PLANS
In 2011, the Board of Supervisors adopted a Countywide Vision and in 2015, the County launched the preparation of the first Countywide Plan, which is being developed over the course of three years to enhance coordination with the public, with outside agencies and organizations, and within the County organization itself. It will serve as a resource for efficient and effective decision-making regarding countywide services and resources.
The Countywide Plan includes a Community Plan program to guide local expectations for County services and set clear direction for the future of specified unincorporated communities.
Just in time for Labor Day, the Division of Environmental Health Services will be providing information regarding food safety, including complimentary food thermometers, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at their offices, 172 West Third Street in San Bernardino.
Labor Day weekend calls for lots of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities with family and friends, including picnics, barbecues, cookouts and other outdoor parties. The warm weather is perfect for outdoor eating but it also presents opportunities for foodborne illnesses. Remember the following tips to protect yourself, your family, and friends from foodborne illnesses this Labor Day:
- Wash your hands – before and after handling food
- Marinate food in the refrigerator – Never marinate food on the counter
- Keep raw food separate – Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a separate cooler or securely wrapped at the bottom of the cooler so their juices won’t contaminate prepared food or raw produce
- Cook food thoroughly – Use a food thermometer to ensure food is cooked thoroughly to destroy harmful bacteria
- Keep hot food hot – Keep hot food at 135 degrees or above until served
- Keep cold food cold – Keep cold food at 41 degrees or below until served
Make it a food safe Labor Day weekend!
Local public safety officials are encouraging residents to protect themselves and their loved ones before, during, and after a disaster by using a new smartphone app created through the San Bernardino County Office of Emergency Services (County OES) in partnership with QuickSeries Publishing.
“The county’s primary role is protecting the public. The Ready SB app gives residents and their families the tools and information they need to stay safe before, during, and after an emergency,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos.
The new app, Ready SB, provides residents with multiple resources that will assist them in preparing for a disaster. Ready SB is now available as a free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and can immediately help residents prepare themselves for emergencies.
Ready SB features include:
- My Plan – Answer five simple questions and Ready SB will create your customized emergency supply checklist
- Alerts – With push notifications, County OES can notify you instantly of emergency situations in your area
- My Status – Use Ready SB’s integrated messaging system to send an instant status update to your personal emergency contact to let them know you’re OK or that you need assistance
- Evacmap & Shelters – Find evacuation routes with live traffic patterns and shelter locations with on- and offline mapping
- Need To Know – Learn all you need to plan for and respond to natural disasters, terrorism, pandemic flu, floods, earthquakes and more
- Resource List – Find contact information to local health and public safety agencies such as the American Red Cross, Animal Care & Control, county departments, and fire protection agencies
Ready SB’s features can be used with or without Internet connection. The app was created through a grant administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is the first app of its kind within the state of California.
Public safety officials urge residents to utilize the Ready SB app to make a family emergency plan and stay informed during emergencies.
“Ready SB makes emergency preparedness easier than ever. With one app, residents can stay informed and know exactly what to do to stay safe in case of an emergency,” said Michael Antonucci, Emergency Services Manager of County OES.
Residents are reminded to take the necessary steps to protect their families as firefighters continue to battle and monitor ongoing fires. “The San Bernardino County Fire Department goes above and beyond to protect its residents from emergencies. Now with the Ready SB app, we’re empowering residents with the information they need to take action and prevent themselves from becoming victims of a disaster,” Fire Chief Mark Hartwig said.
San Bernardino County’s Shelter Operations Compound (SHOC) and Local Assistance Center (LAC), which have provided assistance to more than 300 residents displaced by the Blue Cut Fire, will close their doors today at noon. Assistance and services have been provided to evacuees at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville since last week.
Those impacted by the fire can still find out information about services and resources by calling 1-877-410-8829. Staff from San Bernardino County’s Transitional Assistance Department’s Customer Service Center will refer callers to resources. Information will be available in multiple languages, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., until Sept. 2. After Sept. 2, residents can call 2-1-1.
Those who call will be able to access many of the same resources that have been available to them since last week. On Aug. 18, San Bernardino County, in coordination with the American Red Cross, activated the County’s Mass Care and Shelter Plan and opened the Shelter Operations Compound to serve county residents impacted by the Blue Cut Fire. The County opened the Local Assistance Center at the fairgrounds on Aug. 19 to provide a one-stop location for a services including disaster assistance, property information, and insurance claims. Evacuees were provided with food, shelter, health care and animal care to residents displaced by the fire. Cots, food, showers and restrooms were also available.
Reunification of pets and owners is an important focus of San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control (ACC). In an effort to reunite lost pets with their families affected by the Blue Cut Fire, ACC urges individuals looking for lost pets to visit the three emergency evacuation animal shelters in Devore, Apple Valley and Victorville, as well as other local shelters in surrounding cities where lost or stray animal might have been taken.
· Devore Animal Shelter – 19777 Shelter Way, San Bernardino, call (909) 386-9820
· San Bernardino County Fairgrounds – 14800 7th St., Victorville.
· Apple Valley Animal Shelter – 22131 Powhatan Rd., Apple Valley, call (760) 240-7000
Animals evacuated from the fires may not be on ACC’s website due to the various locations they could have been taken to, such as the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, the Town of Apple Valley Animal Shelter, and Devore Animal Shelter or other local shelters. All stray animals admitted to our Devore shelter are on our County’s website. The animal’s photo is placed on the ACC’s website for easy review, along with a brief description of the animal. Animals evacuated to county shelters by their owners will not be on the website since those animals are unavailable for adoption and we know who the owner of record is.
“Animal Care and Control is committed to helping reunite lost pets with their families,” said Brian Cronin, Chief of Animal Care and Control. “We encourage individuals looking for lost pets to first visit ACC’s animal shelters and then other local shelters.”
Some animals may be delivered to any of a number of other animal shelter facilities in the surrounding area. The City of Hesperia Animal Shelter, Victor Valley Animal Protective League (serves Adelanto and Victorville) or other shelters in the Central Valley may have received lost or stray animals during this time. Pet owners are encouraged to contact all local animal shelters if they have lost their pet.
County residents who have lost their homes to the Blue Cut Fire have been asking local relief workers if federal assistance will be available to help them rebuild. Unfortunately, the fire is not expected to reach the threshold needed to qualify for a federal disaster declaration and the federal aid that would follow.
The ongoing Blue Cut Fire burning through several San Bernardino County communities already stands as one of the most costly disasters to strike the county in recent years. But counties, cities, and other local government agencies cannot directly request federal aid. Only states can ask for a federal disaster declaration.
San Bernardino County declared a local emergency on Tuesday, the day the fire broke out. In response, the governor declared a state emergency, but the fire did not meet the threshold for a federal disaster.
The county is helping fire victims to the degree that it can by operating a Local Assistance Center at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville. The center is a one-stop location for the various services available to fire victims. Among the services assembled by the county at the center are the state Department of Insurance and various insurance companies who can provide homeowners with advice and assistance on restoring their properties.
The Local Assistance Center also includes representatives from the county Assessor/Recorder/clerk and the departments of Children and Family Services, Aging and Adult Services, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Veteran’s Affairs, Land Use Services, Transitional Assistance and Workforce Development. Also available are the State Department of Motor Vehicles, Oak Hills Water District, Community Action Partnership and Southern California Edison.
The Bluecut Fire started on Tuesday at 10:36 a.m. in the Cajon Pass near Kenwood Avenue, west of Interstate 15. For updates and information on the fire, including mandatory evacuation areas, animal evacuation shelters, road and school closures, click here or visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4962/. Evacuation centers are available at the Jessie Turner Community Center, 15556 Summit Ave., Fontana and the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, 14800 7th St., Victorville.
A relief fund for Bluecut Fire victims has been created. To donate, or text RELIEF to 40403, or visit https://ieuw.org/help, or send a check payable to Inland Empire United Way to IEUW Fire Fund, 9644 Hermosa Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.
The County has opened a Local Assistance Center at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, 14800 7th St., Victorville. for residents affected by the fire. The LAC is a one-stop location for a variety of services including but not limited to disaster assistance, property information, and insurance claims. The following agencies are currently providing services at the LAC:
- County Departments:
- Children and Family Services
- Department of Aging and Adult Services
- Department of Behavioral Health
- Department of Public Health
- Department of Veteran Affairs
- Employment Development Department
- Land Use Services
- Transitional Assistance Department
- Workforce Development Department
- Non-County Entities:
- State Department of Motor Vehicles
- State Department of Insurance
- State Farm Insurance
- Allstate Insurance
- Farmers Insurance
- Oak Hills water district
- Community Action Partnership
- Southern California Edison