Disaster Assistance Fair is 'The Opportunity' For Residents to Qualify for Earthquake Relief Assistance


A house on Painter Street in Rio Dell was red tagged after being knocked off its foundation. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • A house on Painter Street in Rio Dell was red tagged after being knocked off its foundation.
Rio Dell officials held a press conference this afternoon to underscore the importance of a two-day assistance event beginning tomorrow in aiding the ongoing recovery of the city and its residents from the magnitude-6.4 earthquake that caused widespread damage Dec. 20.

The event is for residents countywide, City Manager Kyle Knopp said, with everyone impacted by the quake — including renters and home owners — urged to come to sign up for available resources.

"This is important not just to Rio Dell but for anybody impacted by the earthquake in the county unincorporated areas, neighboring cities of Ferndale and Fortuna, our friends in Scotia," Knopp said. "The importance of making sure you contact your friends and relatives and neighbors to make sure they're aware of this. It's an important window of time to get services out to the community, to get people registered for services."

Rio Dell Mayor Debra Garnes stressed that it's important for anyone impacted — regardless of whether their home was red tagged, yellow tagged or sustained minor damage — to come to report broken windows, damaged pipes, plumbing problems and everything else.

"All these things matter and you can address these with the agencies there for some kind of help and assistance," Garnes said. "Everything that we can do to help, we can do better if you come here to the local assistance center, give them the data, and let them start the paperwork and start the assistance to you for all you've been through. ... Please come down and help us help you."

The fair will be attended by the California Earthquake Authority, the Franchise Tax Board, Department of Insurance, Employment Development Department, The Department of Housing and Community Development, the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Food for People, Pay it Forward Humboldt, the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and Community Organizations Active in Disaster.

Impacted county residents are asked to bring a photo ID, household income information, insurance documents and proof of address in the form of a utility bill, cell phone bill or photo ID.

Services will be available in Spanish and English, and Knopp stressed that undocumented residents are encouraged to attend, too.

"Immigration status is not a concern," he said. "We want to get anyone who has been impacted by this earthquake. Their immigration status is of no concern here in Rio Dell and I want to make sure that's really clear. That issue is of no concern to this response."

Meanwhile, Knopp said that food, water, clothing and hygiene distribution efforts in the city have been moved to 406 Wildwood Ave. so the local school and fire department can return to normal operations. Donations continue to be welcome, Knopp said, but must be coordinated through Pay it Forward Humboldt. Drop-offs are not being accepted, as the city doesn't have the person-power to sort them.

In a press release, the county Offices of Emergency Services stressed this is the chance for residents to register for direct assistance from outside agencies.

"The (local assistance center) will provide the opportunity for residents to register to qualify for direct financial assistance," it said in a press release.

The two day event will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Residents can drop in at any time, and representatives of the various agencies will be on hand to assist them. The event will be held at Monument Middle School, 95 Center St. in Rio Dell.

See the full county press release copied below and find video of the press conference here, which includes Spanish and Mandarin translations.

December 29, 2022 | Humboldt County Local Assistance Center

Recovery efforts continue for those impacted by the Dec. 20 earthquake.

In partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services will open a Local Assistance Center (LAC) to aid community members impacted by the earthquake in Humboldt County.

LACs are activated following major disasters to support survivors and businesses suffering disaster-related losses or damages, replace lost or destroyed vital documents (ID, financial information, etc.) and get connected with support services.

The Humboldt County Local Assistance Center will be open at Monument Middle School, 95 Center Street, Rio Dell, CA. on Friday, Dec. 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Humboldt County LAC will provide information from participating state, local, and nonprofit agencies to residents who have been impacted by the earthquake. The LAC will provide the opportunity for residents to register to qualify for direct financial assistance. Goods such as water, food, or meals will not be distributed through the LAC.

Representatives from the following agencies organizations will be present:

State agencies:

California Earthquake Authority (CEA)
Franchise Tax Board (FTB)
Department of Insurance (CDI)
Employment Development Department (EDD)
Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD)
Local representatives will be present from the following agencies:

DHHS Social Services
DHHS Behavioral Health
DHHS Public Health
Food for People
Pay it Forward Humboldt
American Red Cross
Catholic Charities
Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)
If are in possession of these items, it is recommended that you bring them to the LAC:

Photo ID
Household income information
Insurance documents
Proof of address (utility bill, cell phone bill, etc.)
Services will be provided in English and Spanish. Agencies present will be providing services regardless of immigration status.

The most important thing you can do while the community recovers is to keep informed.

Sign up to receive Humboldt County Emergency Alerts at: humboldtgov.org/alerts
Subscribe to OES news releases at: humboldtsheriff.org/subscribe
For updated information regarding the Humboldt County earthquake response, please go to humboldtsheriff.org/emergency and visit @HumCoOES on Facebook and Twitter.

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