Disaster Relief & Emergency Preparedness
The California Arts Council maintains this webpage dedicated to resources for Californians who have been affected by recent natural disasters in our state.
Last updated: 5/12/2023
Page content is updated as new information becomes available. Individuals are advised to contact the listed organizations directly for the latest details and program assistance.
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On February 21, a major disaster was declared for severe winter storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that led to a major disaster declaration on April 3 in California. Public Assistance is available in several counties, with nine (9) counties added on May 2, 2023. The counties and deadlines for Requests for Public Assistance are as follows:
- Calaveras, Los Angeles, Monterey, and Tulare counties – Wednesday, May 3, 2023
- Tuolumne, Sierra, Trinity, San Benito, Mariposa, Merced, Alpine, Fresno, Kern, and Kings counties – Sunday, May 14, 2023
- Glenn, Inyo, Amador, Butte, Del Norte, Modoc, Madera, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz counties – Thursday, June 1, 2023
Cultural institutions impacted by these events are eligible to apply for federal Public Assistance recovery funding. Please refer to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website (www.caloes.ca.gov) for further details on how and where to apply.
Find the FEMA Grant’s Portal website www.fema.gov for private nonprofit applications for federal assistance.
Foundation for Advancement in Conservation: FAIC supports conservation education, research, and outreach activities that increase understanding of our global cultural heritage, with a mission to save cultural heritage for future generations, protecting it from decay and destruction. FAIC often has funding to support Emergency CAP assessments to assist museums whose collections have been affected by a recent disaster. Visit the FAIC Emergency CAP webpage for more information.
National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response: NCAPER published An Arts Field Guide to Federal Disaster Relief, available free online in English and Spanish. The Field Guide was created to help demystify federal disaster relief for the arts and culture sector by helping artists and arts organizations see what’s available, understand clearly what isn’t available, and decide if pursuing federal aid is a good use of time.
National Heritage Responders: NHR is available to answer questions from the public about saving family heirlooms at at NHRpublichelpline@culturalheritage.org. For cultural institutions and arts organizations seeking assistance with mitigating damage to cultural collections, call the NHR’s hotline at 202.661.8068.
Heritage Emergency National Task Force: The HENTF, co-sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Smithsonian Institution, is a partnership of 60 national service organizations and federal agencies, with a mission to protect cultural heritage in our nation’s states, tribes, territories, and local communities from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. Visit The Task Force’s Save Your Family Treasures webpage for guidance to help you recover your family treasures from a disaster.
Americans for the Arts: AFTA has a number of resources from arts partners and organizations available to funders and service organizations in need of ways to streamline and expedite assistance to artists and organizations, including The Essential Guidelines for Arts Responders Organizing in the Aftermath of Disaster from NCAPER, which shares lessons learned by grantmakers, arts service organizations, and arts councils to be immediately responsive – and to be alert to the long-tail nature of disaster recovery.
CERF+: Started by artists for artists in the craft community as a grassroots mutual aid effort in 1985, CERF+ has since emerged as the leading nonprofit organization that uniquely focuses on safeguarding artists’ livelihoods nationwide. CERF+ serves artists who work in craft disciplines by providing a safety net of support through resources and information, career protection tools, and emergency readiness and relief. Visit the CERF+ website to learn more.
Entertainment Community Fund: Entertainment Community Fund is a national human services organization addressing the needs of the entertainment community with a unique understanding of the challenges involved in a life in the arts. The organization’s emergency financial assistance program provides temporary financial assistance to those with documented financial need due to unforeseen circumstances. Visit the Entertainment Community Fund website to learn more.
MusiCares: MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. A directory of resources for musicians and other artists is available on the MusiCares website.
Employment Development Department: The California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides a variety of services to individuals and businesses impacted by disasters in California. These range from assistance for those who may have lost a job due to the disaster, to employers who are forced to shut down operations. EDD staff located throughout the state are often called upon to lend a hand at Local Assistance Centers (LACs) established by the California Office of Emergency Services (OES). They provide assistance with filing claims for UI benefits, as well as job search assistance and other more general support and referrals to resources.
New York Foundation for the Arts: NYFA maintains a list of additional artist emergency resources available across the country. For more information visit the NYFA Emergency Resources webpage.
Disaster Assistance Improvement Program: DIAP provides disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners. Visit the DisasterAssistance.gov website for more information.
CAL FIRE: The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is our state’s go-to resources for up-to-date wildfire information and resources. Visit CAL FIRE website for more information.
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services: The OES combines emergency response, recovery, and resilience information into a single place for easy access by users. Visit the OES website for more information.