The San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building was transformed into a Disaster Recovery Center and a Local Assistance Center.
“This is our one-stop shop, so we want residents to come here and get all their questions answered so they don’t have to call multiple agencies. They can do everything here,” said Rachel Dion, San Luis Obispo Emergency Services Coordinator.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES), and County of San Luis Obispo put together this center for storm survivors.
“For example, if you lost your driver’s license during the storms, we have the DMV here to help you reapply for your driver’s license. If you have questions about a permit for your home to do storm repairs, we have planning and construction here, we have the assessor’s office,” Dion explained. “We have non-profits here – Red Cross and United Way.”
If you have not registered with FEMA for assistance, bring the following documents with you:
“We need your Social Security information, we need to know the address of the damaged property, where you currently live… maybe your bank information if you want direct deposit,” recommended Renee Bafalis, who works as a FEMA Mediator. Relationship Specialist.
If you have already registered, the center is a good option for tracking claims.
“Bring any documentation you might have, whether it’s receipts, maybe your insurance company let you know exactly what they will or won’t cover, if you had any contractors come in to give you an update on how much it will cost to do your repairs — bring that information with you as well,” Bafalis added.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a wide range of services beyond the business sector.
“Small businesses can borrow up to two million dollars and that’s usually for capital, working capital and damages,” explained Zabrina Tipton, SBA Public Information Officer. “Homeowners and renters can also have low-interest loans up to $40,000 and what will be taken care of is furniture, cars, appliances. For homeowners, we have low-interest loans up to $200,000.”
If you own a farm, livestock or vineyard, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on hand to help you figure out what program is right for your needs.
“There’s a worksheet that they fill out, it’s our starting point for any field debris removal that needs to be done, any access roads, any type of damage from the flood,” said Jody Lyon, USDA Farm Service Agency Senior Program Technician.
Health and wellness information is also offered at this center.
How long will this site last?
“As long as we still have community members who need help, we will remain open,” Dion said. “March 16thth2023 is the deadline to apply for federal FEMA assistance.”
The Veterans Memorial Building is located at 801 Grand Ave in San Luis Obispo. It will be open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm
If you need assistance with transportation, you can contact the SLO County Office of Emergency Services at (805) 781-5678.