Financial & Legal Help

Below is a list of financial & legal recovery resources:

Disaster Declaration for California Winter Storms

On February 28, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom extended the provisions of the February 21, 2019, State of Emergency Proclamation to Sonoma County and others.

View the Disaster Declaration for Sonoma County

Property Tax & Reassessment

Has your property suffered or been destroyed by the Sonoma County Floods? The Assessor’s Office is here to help you during this difficult time.

It is important to know that you have 12 months from the event date to file the Calamity Damage Reassessment form, so you can wait until your insurance agency has inspected your property before filling out the form.

If you will be living somewhere else for an extended period of time, please fill out a Change of Mailing Address Form right away so that we can contact you if needed.

Quick Links:

Help with Insurance

California Department of Insurance (CDI)

Assisting with car insurance for damaged vehicles.
Phone: (800) 927-4357
Website: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/

United Policyholders

Assist with insurance questions and educate policy holders on insurance rights.
Phone: (415) 393-9990
Website: https://www.uphelp.org/

Legal Assistance

Legal Aid of Sonoma County

Legal advice and assistance for homeowners and renters.
Phone: (707) 308-2513
Website: https://legalaidsc.org/

Help for Residents and Businesses

Disaster Loan Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest disaster loans to non-farm businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters who suffered losses caused by the winter storms and flooding that began February 25, 2019.
Website: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
Email: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov
Phone: (800) 659-2955
For the deaf or hard of hearing: (800) 577-8339

Loans Available to Individuals and Families:

  • Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate damage and up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
  • Renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.

Loans Available to Businesses:

  • Property Damage: up to $2,000,000 to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were damaged or destroyed (available to businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations).
  • Economic Injury: only for small businesses and most private non-profit organizations suffering adverse financial impacts of the disaster (with or without property loss), up to $2,000,000 for working capital to help pay obligations until normal operations resume.

Quick Links:

Application Deadlines:

  • Physical Damage: May 20, 2019
  • Economic Injury: December 23, 2019

How to Apply:

A Disaster Loan Outreach Center has been established in Guerneville, CA. SBA customer service representatives will be at the following location to meet with each disaster survivor. SBA will answer specific questions about how a disaster loan may help each survivor recover from the disaster damage, and will provide one-on-one assistance in completing applications for these loans.

SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC)
Former Bank of America Building
16390 Main Street, Guerneville, CA 95446

Hours:
Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays – 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Wednesdays – 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Applications are accepted online, in person at any Disaster Loan Outreach Center, or by sending the completed paper applications to:

U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth, TX 76155

Sonoma County Economic Development Board

Information for business owners including emergency relief loans.
Phone: (707) 318-4610
Website: http://sonomaedb.org/Business-Assistance/Flood-Recovery-Business-Resources/

California Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

SBDCs are providing the following services to help small businesses impacted by the disaster (no charge for any services):

  • Counseling for financial, accounting, marketing and other post-disaster challenges
  • Management and technical assistance
  • Business planning to help business owners re-establish their operations and plan for their future
  • Help in reconstructing damaged or destroyed business records
  • Assistance with updating or rewriting business plans

Website: https://www.napasonomasbdc.org/
Email: SBDCclientservices@napavalley.edu
Phone: (707) 595-0060
Address: 141 Stony Circle, Suite 110, Santa Rosa, CA

SCORE

SCORE has experts in virtually every area of business management to mentor small businesses. Mentors are available to help small businesses with their disaster recovery (no charge for individual and team counseling). Services include:

  • Free online disaster preparedness/recovery resources for small business
  • Matching volunteer business-management mentors with clients in need of expert advice
  • In-depth counseling and training with small business owners and managers
  • Help to identify business problems, determine the causes and find solutions
  • Maintaining a confidential and personal relationship

Website: https://www.score.org/
Phone: (707) 571-8342
Address: 777 Sonoma Avenue, Suite 115B, Santa Rosa, CA

Vital Records, DMV, Unemployment Help

California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Provides free vital records for California residents.
Phone: (916) 445-2684
Website: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Replacement available for valid identification or driver licenses. Provides information on what to do with flooded vehicles and other general DMV related questions.Phone: (800) 777-0133
Website: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv

Employment Development Department (EDD)

Assistance with applications for unemployment benefits.
Phone: (800) 480-3287
Website: https://www.edd.ca.gov/

SonomaWORKS

Provides temporary help for families with children who have little or no money. Support while on the program may include housing, food, utilities payments, childcare or medical care.
Phone: (707) 565-5500
Website: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Human-Services/Employment-and-Training/SonomaWORKS/

Debris Removal Help

Contractor State License Board (CSLB)

Information about licensing requirements for debris removal contractors, including hazardous debris removal.
Phone: (800) 321-2752
Website: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/

Frequently Asked Questions

FEMA has not yet declared the 2019 Winter Storm a major disaster. FEMA help for residents is limited. Currently, FEMA must gather data to determine whether the damage meets federal levels to receive assistance for affected residents. The FEMA threshold is $56 million in damage that is NOT covered by insurance.

The County has estimated that countywide flood damages will be more than $150 million. County data is being refined daily.

The damage estimate includes approximately 1,900 homes, and 578 businesses, at least $23.5 million in damages to public property including debris removal, emergency protective measures, non-federal road and bridge systems, water control facilities, public buildings, public utilities, as well as park and recreational facilities. Damage estimates also include approximately $4 million in physical agriculture damage.

Once the County completes its disaster assessment, that data is sent to State and Federal emergency services administrators. Those officials decide whether to submit a request for federal help from the president.

In addition, the California Office of Emergency Services is assessing damage statewide from the 2019 Winter Storm. Those assessments will help state officials in determining the potential of qualifying for federal assistance.

At this time, we do not know if or when Sonoma County would receive a federal declaration as a major disaster for the 2019 Winter Storms.

Federal aid could include Individual assistance for residents, such as funds or programs for housing, medical, child care, unemployment and legal costs. It could also include funds for public assistance, including debris removal and help repairing roads and bridges.

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