Almeda Fire Donations
FOR THOSE WHO LOST THEIR HOME OR DON'T KNOW YET
Take long deep breaths. You WILL get through this. Not everything needs to be done right away. Most things can wait.
Resist the urge to go to your house until you are told it is safe.
Call your insurance today and tell them what you know. Most things can wait, but don't wait on this one.
When it is time to go to your home, you will need a strong filtering mask. The smell will be strong and awful and hazardous and it will be that way for a while.
You will also need Boots, tall rubber muck boots. Be careful walking where it has burned, Pockets of fire or embers may be present, and ground/flooring may give way under you. Also thick work gloves.
Remember that everyone will react differently to this trauma and ALL reactions are ok.
Say yes to any and all genuine offers for help. Let the community, friends and family support you.
You will get through this.
It won't be easy.
You ARE strong enough to do this.
FEMA has activated the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) following the President’s Major Disaster Declaration. Residents affected by the 2020 California Wildfires can apply for assistance on Disaster Assistance website.
If your primary residence is in a county affected by the wildfires, you are in need of short-term housing, rehabilitation loans or other needs assistance, which includes a diverse spectrum ranging from child care to prescriptions.
There are multiple programs available and registering for assistance will provide referral links, where applicable, to additional assistance programs which include Small Business Administration loans, home rehabilitation 203 loans and USDA agricultural loans as well as other types of cash and non-cash assistance.
Please share with your family, friends and colleagues.
Anybody with a total loss should immediately go to - or contact - the Jackson County Assessor to complete forms documenting the loss. If you do it immediately, your tax statement coming up this fall will reflect the loss. Otherwise, you have to go through a process of appeal that would be very cumbersome. This is time critical because the tax roll process is happening NOW.
Address: Jackson County Courthouse, 10 South Oakdale Ave, Room 300, Medford
Dave Arrasmith, Jackson County Assessor, would like to inform property owners who have sustained damage or loss to their property as a result of the Almeda, South Obenchain, Greenway MM 24 fires, et al, in Jackson County, that they may be eligible for a proration of the current year property taxes.
Individuals who have suffered damage or loss of their property due to the fires are strongly encouraged to file a proration form with the Jackson County Assessor's office in accordance with ORS 308.425.
Application for Proration of Property Taxes Due to Damage by Fire or Act of God
Applications must be filed with the Assessor's office within 60 days of the damage or by June 30 of the tax year (2020-21), whichever is later (ORS 308.425).
Applications are available outside our office at 10 S. Oakdale, Room 300. They can be completed and placed in the marked box located on the wall outside our door.
Application for proration is also available at the following:
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT (IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY, CALL 911)
For 24-hour mental health crisis support, call or visit:
Jackson County Mental Health 140 S Holly St, Medford, OR 97501. 541-774-8201
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text line https://www.crisistextline.org Text HOME to 747-747
For a list of current Mental Health Providers in the Rogue Valley, please visit: http://www.mhren.org/pages/referral-booklet
Help Kids Cope is an app designed to assist parents in talking to their children about different disasters they may experience or have already experienced. App Store Link This app includes 10 different disaster types with sections in each on how to explain, prepare, respond, and heal from the event their family is concerned with. Each section gives guidance on talking to preschool, school-age, and adolescent children, as well as, includes ways parents can help themselves cope and support their children’s reactions. Parent audio icons are located throughout the app—simply tap on these to hear a parent’s personal story. Help Kids Cope was a collaborative effort between the Ozark Center and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. This app is designed to assist parents in talking to their children about different disasters they may or have already experienced.
OREGON HOUSING RELIEF
To apply for up to $7,000 in assistance, applicants must have had damage or loss to their primary residence due to a wildfire and residence is considered uninhabitable unless repaired or replaced. Applicants must have an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Applicants must provide documentation of loss, proof of homeownership and proof of household income.
Link to Relief Fund
VITAL DOCUMENT REPLACEMENT
Many Oregon families may have lost all vital documents due to the deadly wildfires burning across the state.
The Center for Health Statistics has issued temporary rules to waive fees for people who have experienced loss of property or life associated with the wildfires. This temporary rule provides up to three certified copies of Oregon vital records free of charge if requested in connection with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-35. This new rule will remain in effect until March 1, 2021.
The State Vital Records office will provide up to three certified copies of a birth, death, marriage, divorce, domestic partnership or dissolution of domestic partnership free of charge if the record is requested in connection with Executive Order 20-35 related to wildfire response. The Executive Order only applies to fires that occurred in Oregon.
County Vital Records offices will provide up to three certified copies of death or birth records free of charge if the record is requested in connection with Executive Order 20-35 related to wildfire response.
See answers to frequently asked questions and learn how to order copies and apply for the waiver on the State Vital Records website. The state vital records office will provide services free of charge if the record requested is in connection with the wildfire response
HOW TO VOTE IF YOU'VE BEEN EVACUATED
1. Displaced people have until October 13 to decide where they want their ballot sent. Provisional ballots should be a last resort.
2. We vote by mail, but it's okay if you do not have an address. People without homes must provide a residence address, but it can be any physical location. This could be a shelter, park, motor home, or other identifiable location.
3. The mailing address of a person who is homeless or who resides where mail service is unavailable can be the office of the county clerk. Voters can pick up their ballot at the county elections office.
4. After a disaster, it is hard to know where we will be months from now. The deadline to update voter registration is 10/13. If you update it, and then end up in a different county...
5. You can request a provisional ballot at a county elections office and vote in a different county than you are registered in.
If you have a plan of where you will be staying or a "home base" for the next two months, go to oregonvotes.org and use My Vote to update your voter's registration. (This is the Oregon Secretary of State's website.) You can leave your physical address as the address of your home (even if it was lost in the fire), but update your mailing address. So, if your home was destroyed in Phoenix or Talent, but you are staying with friends or family in Ashland, you can leave your voting registration as living and voting in Phoenix or Talent, but update or put in a mailing address.** This is VERY IMPORTANT because ballots are NOT forwarded. Please do this as soon as you identify a place where you can receive mail. If for some reason, you do not receive a ballot, you can request a provisional ballot at the Jackson County Elections office or the Oregon county where you are registered.
SORTING THROUGH THE ASHES
Here are a few general suggestions along with a link below to a great article with more helpful advice.
More info and advice here: Link
Please help spread the word to those who will be going to see what's left of their homes and businesses and those who might be helping out, and include gloves and old work shoes or boots if dropping off items and supplies for people.
- Jackson County Animal Services (JCAS) is coordinating the effort with law enforcement to recover stray pets.
- Currently no civilians are allowed.
- If that need changes and we can utilize our volunteer base and other resources, they will notify FOTAS and we will get the word out!
- If you do end up with a stray you can bring it to JCAS at the expo.
- Animals in our care are accounted for, so do not come on site to look.
- Keep an eye on the JCAS lost & found page
-Other resources - check local vets and community social media sites
- PLEASE SEND A LOST PET REPORT
Report lost pets to:
Email or Text: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Pet Name(s) - Owner Name
Body of Email should include below details:
Animal Description: Animal, Breed, Color, Outstanding Features, Age, Weight, Male or Female, Spayed or Neutered, Chipped or not chipped.
Anything that stands out: color of collar, physical characteristics, etc.
Photo: Attach photos
Date / Time / Location of lost animal
Owner Contact Details - Name, Address, Phone, Email
EVACUEE'S DISPLACED ANIMALS:
Bring to the Isola Arena for intake
Can be turned into JCAS at the Isola Arena
- Animal Donations: Can be dropped at the Isola Arena. [Items needed - wire kennels, cat litter boxes, cat litter, bowls, animal food]
- Monetary Donations: make online at www.fotas.org [Select the Donate Now button]
- Human Food: Can be dropped off at the Isola Arena
- Current FOTAS registered fosters - we will email needs as they arise. Our coordinator does not have a lot of information on the animals and needs to focus on those that can help in any circumstance.
- Public inquires for fostering - our fostering needs are currently met. If you want to be put on our list should the need arise, email your contact info to email@example.com
- Dog Walkers & Dog Care - not needed at this time
- Cat Care - not needed at this time
- Horse and Farm Animal care might be needed for those with experience- [Find Katy at the stables, or check in with FOTAS]
Best to EMAIL (or text) to firstname.lastname@example.org
These facebook pages are also helpful in locating animals:
Southern Oregon Pet Lovers - Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass & Lost Dogs
Almeda Fire Oregon Lost & Found Animals
FOOD STAMPS/SNAP BENEFITS
DHS will replace any food stamps spent on food lost in the fire. Call 541-776-6172. There is a form to fill out.
ADVICE FROM PARADISE FIRE SURVIVORS
1. Notify your insurance company of your loss. They will send out a person to assess the loss (visit the property) and work with you through the process.
A. Request a copy of the full insurance policy- can take 3-6 weeks to receive this in the mail- from our understanding, they cannot email it to you
B. Be sure to update your mailing address since you cannot receive mail/checks anymore at your home. (Get a PO Box)
C. Call mortgage company and ask for a skip payment due to the loss and tell them an insurance case has been filed against the loss.
2. Register at the shelters, with Red Cross and any other agency there, california FEMA, etc. Most of the aid coming in will use these lists as a point of contact and will help to ensure that you don't get left out of anything. Red Cross will provide you a gift card with some cash on it.
3. Treat the property as a "crime scene" type of situation until the insurance adjuster comes through as well as any fire inspector. Meaning, don't remove things. Keep everything as untouched as possible.
A. When dealing with your insurance, I suggest you communicate via email, that way there is a paper trail. Make sure you let them know often how you are feeling, don't make any fast decisions, your brain is in shock! Take time to process. Write emails!
4. Many people (including the insurance adjuster) will say that it's ok to spend money since it's the insurance companies money. And it is. However, remember that every penny comes out of your policy. So it's your money. Treat it as such.
5. Keep a record of everything you spend and save your receipts.
6. All miles you drive for this are reimbursable. Keep track of where you drove, when you drove and how many miles.
7. Create a list of everything in the house (which room it was in, what it is, how much you spent on it, when you bought it, where you bought it). Keep in mind that the insurance company is going to reduce the value of your property based on its age and potentially where it was purchased. They will hire an outside company to "shop" for everything you say you owned. Definitely don't lie about what you had, but please make sure you max out the policy. In a situation like this, there is probably nothing left for anybody to physically verify.
A. When itemizing list of belongings - (This is very hard but very necessary for your claim)
1. Organize by room and list everything that was there with a replacement cost. (you will cry a lot doing this and that is ok)
2. Replacement Cost should be what it would cost to replace it, not on sale from pottery barn, it should not be the price you paid for it with that 50% off coupon.
3. Make sure you list everything, even if it is above and beyond your policy limit. This is very important because everything above and beyond the policy limit is considered a Loss and can be claimed as such on your taxes.
8. Know the parts of your policy (Property, Structure, Contents and Temporary Living) and what the value of each is.
A. Property will be the value of the land and any structures on it outside of your principal residence. It's usually about 20% of the Structure.
B. Structure is the value of the house itself.
C. Contents is everything that would fall out of the house if you could pick it up and shake it. It's value is probably between 20% and 50% of the house.
D. Temporary Living is the amount they will pay to house you during the rebuild process, usually about 15% of the Property insured value.
9. Don't be rushed. Take the time you need to get through this. It's going to be a long process and you need to be happy with the outcome. The insurance company will try to push you through it faster than you may want to go. Make sure you know what your policy allows you and stand up to them to make sure you get everything you're entitled to.
10. Rental- or Buy-You can find a rental on your own or The insurance company will put you in contact with a temporary housing agency. Make sure you get something as close to your property as you can that meets your needs. If you choose to buy right away, like we did- I suggest you move very quickly as the housing market will become a nightmare quickly. We purchased a new home about 20 days after the fire and so happy we had a place to call home and get life back to normal.
11. If FEMA comes, you can apply for new drivers licenses, birth certificates, etc in a walk in clinic type scenario. Otherwise, get online and apply. It may take some time to get them and they may be required for certain things.
12. Permits - An unfortunate necessity.
A. Debris Removal - as things wind down it will be necessary to remove the debris, this requires a permit usually. (This should be covered by your insurance, find out the amount covered) ***I highly suggest you hire your own preferred company to do this- don't go with the county and have them do it- cost will be more than 5 times if you go with the county.
B. Erosion Control - If you are on any kind of hill or have sloped property you will need to put some sort of erosion control measures in place, again this will need some sort of permit.
C. Temporary Power Pole/Trailer on site Permit - Getting this earlier on can prove helpful in the rebuilding process.
13. Taxes -You will be able to claim the monetary loss of the value of all your items minus what you receive from your insurance company. I'm unfamiliar with the exact laws, but we received most of the money that we had paid in taxes back in a nice large check.
14. Start a list of friends/family that have contacted you. There will be a lot of people that help you in many different ways. Please let them help you! With everything going on, you're going to forget who did what. Keeping a list will assist you in any kind of thanking you may want to do when things become more normal.
15. Get a PO Box for mail
16. Call and close or suspend all utilities and services not needed to save money (home phone, internet, water, gas, electricity, etc) & update your address to your PO Box.
17. I can't stress this enough! Please let people do things for you. Have a friend go to the store to buy you some basic clothes or comfort food. Please Let them help you - they want to help and you don't need to spend time doing these errands. (The 'fun' of shopping is gone...it quickly becomes a chore because you don't want a new shirt, you want the one that you always liked to wear but now it's gone and you are sad/mad.)