The $4.5 million is part of Prepare California ‘Jumpstart’ Program investing in local infrastructure improvements
SACRAMENTO – Continuing its efforts to build more resilient communities in areas of the state most susceptible to natural disasters, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) today announced the first round of awardees for the first-in-the-nation Prepare California Program.
In total, Cal OES awarded nearly $4.5 million to six applicants through the ‘Jumpstart’ portion of the Prepare California Program. Ranging from cities and counties to Tribal Governments and private non-profits situated all over the state, this funding will be used to invest in infrastructure improvements designed to protect people and property.
“We are proud of the work being done to ensure the state helps communities prepare before the next emergency,” said Mark Ghilarducci, Cal OES Director. “We hope over time that these local investments will safeguard communities and their infrastructure from natural disasters.”
Launched in January, this groundbreaking program leverages funds approved in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 State Budget aimed at reducing long-term risks of disasters, such as flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, or dam failure, in communities that are considered socially vulnerable and have a high hazard risk.
2022 Prepare California ‘Jumpstart’ Awardees
Name County/Location Award Amount Details
Hoopa Valley Tribal Government Tribal Government $999,850 Hire a full-time Hazard Mitigation Officer (HMO) and a Coordinator to determine cost-effective hazard mitigation projects, catalog vulnerable infrastructure, and provide education and outreach to residents and community partners.
Mendocino County Mendocino County $992,000 Hire a part-time resilience-focused Grant Coordinator and Grant Consultant to conduct outreach and education campaigns and secure grant funding for projects that directly benefit the most socially vulnerable members of the community.
Happy Camp Community Action Private Nonprofit/ Siskiyou County $920,506 Hire additional staff, including a Chief Resilience Officer, that would be responsible for identifying and implementing various wildfire mitigation projects, getting Happy Camp certified in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, and providing fire-safe education and outreach to Happy Camp communities.
City of Barstow San Bernardino County $732,000 Hire a part-time Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) to develop local climate resilience strategies and initiatives aimed at assisting the most socially vulnerable residents.
Lake County Lake County $636,545 Hire a Chief Climate Resilience Officer (CCRO) to develop and implement a comprehensive local resilience strategy, develop low or no-cost solutions to reduce disaster risks, secure and manage mitigation grant funding, pursue community resilience education and training.
City of Concord Contra Costa County $175,000 Create an equity-minded planning initiative that is based on language access and focuses on emergency preparedness education and outreach within Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities.
Designed to unlock federal matching funds for improvement projects that vulnerable communities would otherwise be unable to access, there are two types of grant funding available through Prepare California, with a total of $100 million available.
- $15 million in state funding is dedicated to helping eligible communities jumpstart their development and implementation of resilience planning.
- $85 million is earmarked for communities applying for the federal Hazard Grant Mitigation Program and is intended to cover the required local cost share.
The state identified these disaster vulnerable communities by prioritizing California census tracts according to their estimated hazard exposures and social vulnerability. Hazard exposure is based on the State Hazard Mitigation Plan which includes an analysis of several datasets related to wildfire, flood, earthquake, drought, and heat wave frequencies. Social vulnerability is based on the CDC Social Vulnerability Index.
Additional information about Prepare California, including the inception of the program and the application process, can be found at caloes.ca.gov/preparecalifornia.
What Others are Saying
Moke Simon, Lake County District 1 Supervisor said:
“Lake County has endured an unparalleled series of nine wildfire disaster events since 2015. Two-thirds of our land mass and more than 5.5% of our housing supply have burned. Every Lake County community has faced evacuation. In recent years, we have been working hard to bring people with separate and related roles in disaster preparedness together, and this grant will fund a critically-needed full-time Chief Climate Resilience Officer position. We couldn’t be more excited for this award!”
Jessica Pyska, Lake County District 5 Supervisor said:
“As a County that has repeatedly come under climate change-informed threat it’s essential we do all we can to become more resilient to future events, and that starts with staff capacity to look ahead, and leverage any and all funding opportunities to make our communities safer. We can’t wait to get a Chief Climate Resilience Officer in place!”
Abigail Yeager, Slater Fire Long-Term Recovery Group Co-Chair said:
“The Slater Fire LTRG is honored to receive this grant award from the California Office of Emergency Services. Our rural community of Happy Camp, California was devastated by the 2020 Slater Fire; this grant is a huge step forward in our recovery journey and will improve our fire resiliency tremendously. This opportunity would not have been possible without the partnership between Happy Camp Community Action, Inc. and SiskiyouWorks, two non-profit Slater Fire LTRG member organizations who co-wrote the grant.”
Darcie Antle, Mendocino County Interim Chief Executive Officer said:
“The County of Mendocino is appreciative and excited to hear about the award from Cal OES. The Prepare California ‘Jumpstart’ grant will allow us to hire staff to help build capacity around hazard mitigation projects. The Board of Supervisors and the Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency, and Mitigation (PRRM) team have been working towards a grant management unit. This funding will build capacity around mitigation projects and expand on the great work being done by the PRRM team since the 2017 Wildfire. The team looks forward to working with Cal OES in the future.”
Serene White, Hoopa Valley Tribe Office of Emergency Services Emergency Manager said:
“The Hoopa Valley Tribe is humbled and grateful for this funding opportunity from CalOES. The Hoopa Valley tribe is the second largest tribe and provides service to their neighboring tribes and communities as well. This grant will greatly affect the need to better serve our community, membership and all the surrounding areas. This funding will help mitigate future events, disasters, and create a more continued resilient response effort on behalf of the Tribe. Tsediyah’ (thank you)”