Flood recovery resources can keep Valley residents afloat

Assemblyman Devon Mathis spotlights recovery resources for flood damages on rural, urban Central Valley properties

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Assemblyman Devon Mathis has sent out a list of aiding resources for Central Valley residents who are unsure of what steps to take after flood damages from the recent storms.

Any local citizens who need flood recovery assistance are advised by the assemblyman’s office to check out the Flood Recovery Resources page on the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) website. After the office realized some residents were unaware of these resources, chief of staff Justin Boman said the office wanted to do its part in communicating what is available for proper assistance.

“Also, ensuring that folks are aware that there are more resources at the state level than just calling the city hall or their local city council member or your county supervisor,” Boman said. “We want to make sure that they’re aware that their taxes do go to something.”

The CDFA page has information on disaster assistance programs, emergency loans and other resources available for any residents affected by the recent floods. According to Boman, at the state-level, the links most beneficial for Valley residents – under “California Government” – are:

  • Governor’s Office — Tax Relief for Californians Impacted by Storms
  • Governor’s Office — Businesses Impacted by Storms Now Eligible for Emergency Tax Relief
  • California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Farmer & Farmworker Mental Health Resources
  • CDFA California Animal Response Emergency System (CARES)
  • CDFA Produce Safety Program Farm Flooding Fact Sheet

Federal assistance is also available for residents to utilize and can be found under the “U.S. Government” section of the CDFA website. Boman said the following links under this section are the most beneficial to Valley citizens:

  • USDA Offers Disaster Assistance to Farmers and Livestock Producers in California Impacted by Floods
  • Emergency Loan Program

According to Boman, the issue of citizens needing assistance with flood damages came about amidst the height of the January storms. He said the office noticed that its constituents were confused about the process of filing flood insurance claims. To help with this, the office added a button on its website that linked users straight to the state’s department of insurance site with a step-by-step process on how to file the insurance claims.

However, after the office realized a lot of residents are generally not aware of what resources are available to them, the assemblyman decided to send out the list of CDFA flood recovery resources. Although the severe weather impacted some communities more than others, Boman said the announcement was sent throughout the whole district to reach any and all residents who were affected.

“The resources on the CDFA’s website are mainly focused on more of the rural and ag portions of Tulare County,” Boman said. “However, we wanted to make sure that this was sent out district wide because some of the resources on the page do apply more to urban residents.”

District director for the assemblyman’s office Rachael Ray said Mathis was likely compelled to inform residents of the resources as he saw a lot of the damage first-hand, as a Porterville native himself.

“He spent all of last week with boots on the ground, not in Sacramento, seeing everything that was occurring,” Ray said. “We definitely had first hand knowledge of it.”

According to Ray, Mathis spent a lot of his recent time visitings areas within the district, the 33rd state assembly district, surveying the damage from recent storms. From Corcoran to Lemoore to Porterville to Allensworth and some areas within Fresno County, she said he has been involved with incident command post calls coordinated by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

“That would be the biggest initiator of any kind of resources; making sure that the constituents are aware of what they have access to,” Ray said.