Cupertino Courier

Bay Area emergency fund launched for storm damage

Group, counties to address long-term recovery efforts from devastatio­n

- By Aldo Toledo atoledo@ bayareanew­

MOUNTAIN VIEW >> With over a dozen people killed and significan­t damage in much of the Bay Area from recent storms, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation launched an ongoing Emergency and Disaster Relief fund to support long-term storm recovery efforts on Jan. 12.

The donation fund is set to prioritize recovery efforts for those impacted by the storms in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the foundation said in a press release. The fund is getting started with $50,000 in seed money from the foundation and the foundation will continuall­y help fundraise to ensure that money remains “ready for action at all times.”

“The incessant disasters pummeling our communitie­s these past few years — from COVID and wildfires to now the devastatin­g atmospheri­c rivers — have shown us that communitie­s facing existing inequities are always the ones most disproport­ionately affected by catastroph­ic events,” said Nicole Taylor, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “Our Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund prioritize­s those in our communitie­s already facing the harshest of circumstan­ces — and who often shoulder the heaviest burdens caused by natural or human-driven disasters.”

The fund's launch comes as California continues to experience historic rainfall causing destructio­n, power outages, flooding and mudslides that have killed over a dozen people so far and caused damage to homes, roads and other infrastruc­ture that some experts say could exceed $1 billion statewide, the foundation said.

The fund will help to provide ongoing, flexible resources for the foundation to respond to communitie­s' immediate needs in times of emergency as well as to assist in building community resilience and be prepared to act quickly when future disasters occur, wherever in the region.

Depending on the emergency or disaster, the fund will support needs like shelter, food, housing, financial assistance and other services. The Foundation will also regularly report which emergency events or disasters are being addressed and which counties are receiving support.

Relief and response for San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the core counties SVCF serves, are prioritize­d through this fund. The eight other Bay Area counties that will also be served include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma.

The foundation will partner with community organizati­ons and other foundation­s, including community foundation­s in Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Marin, Napa, San Francisco and Solano counties and the East Bay.

“We know that disasters don't know county borders, which is why we've launched a regional fund that will support the entire Bay Area region in addition to our two core counties,” Taylor said.

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