Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Flood Recovery Update

As of this writing, we still await the Federal declaration of a state of emergency for California. The Governor sent his request to the President last week and we are hopeful that the declaration will be made so that FEMA assistance becomes available for residents and business owners.

Today I attended a meeting of the County's Storm Recovery Working Group, a newly-formed group with representatives from the County Office of Emergency Services, other County departments, the Red Cross, school districts and the Towns of Fairfax and San Anselmo. The purpose of the group is to communicate and coordinate recovery efforts and resources. I learned that if the FEMA declaration is made, a local assistance center would most likely be set up in the Ross Valley as a one-stop location for flood victims to apply for assistance. We heard from the Red Cross that 84 families throughout the County who were displaced from their homes are utilizing Red Cross housing assistance. I asked for Fairfax statistics and received a call this afternoon from the Red Cross, and learned that Fairfax has 10 Red Cross client families for a total of 22 Fairfax residents displaced. Some of these families are in danger of homelessness when the Red Cross assistance ends, and are waiting for FEMA housing assistance. You may have read an article about this situation in the January 18th edition of the Marin IJ.

On a disaster-related topic, some residents have expressed an interest in a new alarm/warning siren system for Fairfax that could be used in the event of flood or fire disasters. We will have a report on this issue on the Town Council agenda for the regular meeting of Wednesday, February 1st.