Disaster Recovery Center and Local Assistance Center available in SLO

The San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building has been transformed into a Disaster Recovery Center and Local Assistance Center.

“This is our one-stop shop, so we want residents to come here and get all of their questions answered so they don’t have to call multiple agencies. They can do it all here,” said Rachel Dion, San Luis Obispo County 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 this center together 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 permitting for your home for doing storm repairs, we have planning and building here, we have the assessor’s office,” Dion explained. “We have non-profits here — Red Cross and United Way.”

If you haven’t registered with FEMA for assistance, bring the following documents:

“We need your Social Security information, we need to know the address of the property that was damaged, where you are currently residing… possibly your bank information if you want a direct deposit,” recommended Renee Bafalis, who works as FEMA’s Media Relations Specialist.

If you have already filed, the center is a good option to follow up on claims.

“Bring any documentation you might have whether it’s receipts, maybe your insurance company has let you know exactly what they are going to cover or not cover, if you’ve had any contractors come out to give you an update on how much it may cost to do your repairs — bring that information with you as well,” Bafalis added.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering 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’s Public Information Officer. “Homeowners and renters can also have low-interest loans up to $40,000 and what that will take care of is furniture, cars, appliances. For homeowners, we have low-interest loans up to $200,000.”

If you own a farm, livestock or a vineyard, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on-site to help you figure out what program fits your needs.

“There’s a worksheet they fill out, it’s our starting point for any field debris removal that needs to be done, any access roads, any kind of damage due to the flood,” said Jody Lyon, USDA Farm Service Agency Lead Program Technician. 

Information on health and well-being is also offered at this hub.

How long will this site be around?

“As long as we still have community members that need assistance, we’ll stay open,” Dion said. “March 16th, 2023 is the deadline to apply for FEMA federal assistance.”

The Veterans Memorial Building is located at 801 Grand Ave in San Luis Obispo. It will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you need help with transportation, you can reach out to the SLO County Office of Emergency Services at (805) 781-5678.