Tubbs Fire Recovery Resources
Tubbs Fire Recovery Resources (October 2017)
While the City of Calistoga and its residents and businesses have been spared the direct impact of the Tubbs Fire, many others have been devastated by loss. As a community, we will work to support our friends and neighbors through this situation.
In our first step to begin the process of recovery, we will reach out to our business community in an effort to assess its impact, its needs, and to develop a strategy to move forward. The Chamber will work with FEMA, the Small Business Administration, and California Office of Emergency Services to identify resources for working through the business impact. When appropriate, we will also work with Visit Napa Valley and the County of Napa to prepare for the eventual return of visitors to the Napa Valley and Calistoga.
Please continue to support one another and stay strong.
Current Conditions in Calistoga (As of November 2017)
- Road Closures: Primary roads in and out of Calistoga were open as of October 19.
- Air Quality: SparetheAir.org is forecasting that air quality in North Counties (including Calistoga) is now “Good” to “Moderate”.
- Containment: CalFire is calling the Tubbs Fire 100% contained.
- Evacuation: A mandatory evacuation of Calistoga occurred due to the Tubbs Fire. The evacuation was in place from Wednesday, October 11 at 3:00 am to Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 pm.
- Contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Depending on your policy, you may have access to “loss of use” or “wages lost” coverage to offset the expense of having been closed for business due to a declared state of emergency. If you do have this coverage, it may be time sensitive so act now.
- When filing your insurance claim, reference the conditions in Calistoga, including road closures, air quality and mandatory evacuations, all of which will have impacted business.
Business Impact Timeline
Original Source: Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty – Links are to CA EDD.
In light of the devastating fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties, employers should be aware of some available resources and other obligations required by law. Below is information regarding available benefits, employee pay, leaves, and other information Napa and Sonoma County employers may find useful.
Napa County’s Local Assistance Center (LAC) is open from now until October 27. There are a multitude of services and agencies represented to offer disaster assistance and recovery support. This link to the LAC website shows a list of services as well as a map to the location. The website can also be displayed in Spanish.
Napa County Health and Human Services
Building A, Conference Center
2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa CA 94559
Monday – Friday, 9am to 7pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10am to 5pm
Online filing for Federal Disaster Assistance is also available in English or Spanish.
Additionally, here are links to County Health Support Services and other local Non-Profit Agencies that are helping our community recover. From rent assistance to stress reduction, these agencies and their staffs and volunteers are doing great work.
1. Disaster Unemployment Assistance
A Major Disaster Declaration was approved by President Trump as of October 10, 2017. This means that employees unable to work due to the fires can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. This benefit is available for up to 26 weeks for employees impacted. More information can be found here.
- Partial Claim
If there is lack of work for no more than two weeks, employees can apply for partial benefits. In these circumstances, the employer should fill out the Notice of Reduced Earnings (DE2063) to provide to employees so that the employee may submit their claim for benefits. More information regarding a partial claim can be found here.
If there will be no work for more than two weeks, then employees should submit an ordinary application for unemployment benefits rather than a partial claim.
- Wages Notice
If the employer will have 10 or more employees out of work the employer may fill out a Wages Notice which can simplify the benefit application process. The form can be completed online, printed, and mailed or faxed to the EDD. The Wages Notice form is DE 4806.
Employers unable to furnish work to employees due to a natural disaster are not obligated to pay non-exempt employees. However, exempt employees still must be paid their full salary for weeks in which any work is furnished. If no work is furnished or completed by the exempt employee for a full workweek, then the employer does not have to pay the full weekly salary to those employees.
Unless an employee requires leave due to qualifying physical or mental injuries and illnesses or disabilities, to the employee or certain family members, there are no leave obligations for employers.
In light of the devastation of the Napa and Sonoma fires, employers may choose to exceed their obligations under the law by permitting employees to take leave paid or unpaid, and/or use leave banks despite no serious health condition impacting the employee or certain eligible family members. This leave can be granted for employees impacted by the disaster to rebuild or for those volunteering to assist in disaster relief efforts.
4. Provide a Safe Workplace
Employers remain obligated to furnish a safe and healthful place of employment and may not require or permit an employee to be in any place of employment that is not safe and healthful. Employers open during the fires and its aftermath should provide appropriate protective equipment, such as respirator masks, to employees to ensure their safety.
5. Emergency Action Plan
The need for an emergency action plan is highlighted in times of disaster, and it is required by law to be a part of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Employers with 10 or more employees must have the emergency action plan in writing. Cal OSHA has guidance on developing this plan on here.
6. Payroll Tax Extension
Employers can request an extension of up to 60 days to file state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes. A written request for the extension must be received within 60 days of the original delinquent date of the payment or return.
7. Reconstruct Payroll Records
Employers that lost payroll records due to the fire should reconstruct the records in order to file quarterly and/or yearly payroll tax reports. Employers can make reasonable estimates based upon the best information available, and the EDD can provide copies of previous reports on which to base the estimates.
Disaster Loans and Development Services
Working Solutions is supporting the recovery of North Bay communities with the Working Solutions Emergency Relief Loan to help businesses rebuild after the North Bay Fires.
$5,000 – $50,000
9% interest rate
Deferred closing fee for 6 months
Waived application fee
Deferred repayment for 6 months
Contact Laurie O’Hara at (415) 852-8499 or email@example.com
Apply for Disaster Loan Assistance from the SBA
Napa County is included in the Disaster Declaration #CA-00279 as of October 8, 2017, per the SBA website.
Click here to register and apply for Disaster Loan Assistance for your business.
Filing Deadline for Physical Damage: December 11, 2017
Filing Deadline for Economic Injury: July 12, 2018
Small Business Development Services
• Counseling for financial, accounting, marketing and other post-disaster challenges
• Management and technical assistance
• Business planning to help business owners re-establish their operations and plan for their future
• Help in reconstructing damaged or destroyed business records
• Assistance with updating or rewriting business plans
• Assistance with accessing government contracts and procurement related to the disaster
Disaster Assistance for Families and Employees
UpValley Family Center Offering Disaster Assistance
Notice: Businesses with Employees Impacted by Fire-Related Lost Wages!
The UpValley Family Centers are offering assistance to fire disaster victims. Please call (707) 965-5010 to register for a needs assessment.
Documents Required to Show Financial Hardship:
Click here for Spanish flyer.
A Request for an Extension from the California Board of Equalization may be submitted online using eService’s Relief Requests.
All taxpayers, fee payers, and business owners who can’t meet filing deadlines because of a disaster may be eligible to receive an extension of up to three-months* to file and pay their taxes and/or fees. This relief is available to any taxpayer or fee payer who works or resides in the counties where a disaster exists and who, as a result of a disaster, cannot meet tax filing and payment deadlines.
The BOE may also extend the deadline for filings that were delayed by disruption of the normal activities of the United States Postal Service or private mail and freight companies. In addition, business owners can apply for relief of penalties and interest for late payments if they are caused by the fire.
* Effective September 9, 2016, the extension available for tax or fee payers affected by a disaster was increased from one-month to up to three months (Assembly Bill 1559).
You must submit your request no later than one month following the due date of your return or your prepayment form. Please be aware that the tax remains due, plus applicable interest.
Note: Relief from penalty and interest may be available to you if you cannot file your tax return on time due to a disaster. A Request for Relief from Penalty and Interest due to Disaster may be submitted online using eService’s Relief Requests.