Cal OES Awards $25 Million in Grants to Local Organizations to Protect Vulnerable Communities from Disasters

Funding Designed to Increase Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency in Socially Vulnerable Communities Statewide

SACRAMENTO, CA – As part of California’s nation-leading effort to build resilience among vulnerable populations living in areas of the state most susceptible to natural disasters, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) today announced $25 million in grants is being awarded to 93 community partners through the Listos California campaign.

As unfavorable conditions like extreme heat and drought continue to fuel wildfires throughout California, socially vulnerable communities remain disproportionally impacted, not only by devastating wildfires but also earthquakes and other disasters.

In this second wave of funding, Listos California is part of a continuing effort to enhance disaster preparedness by engaging a statewide network of community-based organizations, Tribal Governments, CERTs (Community Emergency Response Teams) and other partners to ensure the state’s most vulnerable are ready when disaster strikes. These grants prioritize communities that are considered both socially vulnerable and at a high risk of being impacted by wildfire, flood, earthquake, drought or heatwave.

“As Californians expect more climate-driven disasters in the years to come, we know these emergencies won’t affect everyone equally,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “Our Listos California campaign allows us to build readiness and protect lives by investing in the areas where it is needed most.”

Socially vulnerable communities are often disproportionally impacted by devastating wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. This concerted effort by Cal OES to boost disaster preparedness by engaging a statewide network of community-based organizations, Tribal Governments, and Community Emergency Response Teams ensures the state’s most vulnerable are ready when disaster strikes.

In an effort to ensure cohesion throughout all campaign partners and provide culturally competent, in-language resources, Cal OES has also awarded the non-profit Valley Vision, Inc. a communications campaign and technical assistance grant. Previously, Valley Vision served as a Support Team lead for the Listos California campaign.

“We are grateful to be able to work with Cal OES and other committed organizations to foster the resiliency of California’s diverse and vulnerable populations,” said Evan Schmidt, Valley Vision’s CEO.  “This campaign will empower countless individuals and families throughout the state, preventing disasters from uprooting their lives.”

Tribal Governments, community-based organizations, and emergency management groups applied for the Listos California grants through a competitive process to be a part of this culturally competent outreach and education campaign.

Thanks to the continuous investment of public funds by Governor Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers, Listos California partners will be able to continue working on preparedness efforts and provide Californians with the information needed to appropriately respond to and recover from significant disasters.

Since 2019, Listos California has succeeded in reaching millions of Californians who otherwise wouldn’t have access to lifesaving emergency preparedness information. Providing these tools to these Californians to not only survive, but also thrive post-disaster, is what makes Listos California so vital.

To view the full list of grantees, along with their service areas and populations served, visit the Listos Atlas.

What Others are Saying

“We are looking forward to working with this round of grant funding in Sonoma and Lake counties to support groups who have historically not had access to crucial preparedness information,” said Nathan Gilfenbaum, Catholic Charities Senior Program Manager Community Outreach and Training. “Based on our work in the first round of funding a few years ago, we expect to meet or exceed our outreach goals to the populations most vulnerable in our communities.”

“Northridge Hospital Foundation is grateful for this grant which will allow us to help older adults in the San Fernando Valley with disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation,” said Joni Novosel, Director for the Center for Healthier Communities. “We will focus on areas that are at high risk for earthquakes and fires and provide outreach, educational workshops and distribute emergency supplies.”

“Californians are blessed with greatness and plenty of love; we are a very generous cultural tribe of people, and we have a moral obligation to assist those who are suffering from disadvantage lifestyles, poverty, disease, and we need love to help these communities save lives in case of an emergency or a disaster event,” said Billy Earley, Watts Community Development Corporation President.

“Self-Help Enterprises is excited to be a part of Listos California for another cycle, said Carson Gordon, Self-Help Enterprises Disaster Resiliency and Prep Manager. “This program comes at a time when Californians are facing an unprecedented wildfire season and are eager to know how to prepare for when disaster strikes their communities,”

“Increasing disaster preparedness is imperative for our small rural communities which have been impacted by multiple wildfires in the last five years,” said Jenny Ocon, UpValley Family Centers of Napa County Executive Director. “As part of Listos California, our team of trusted messengers will draw on local relationships and a people-centered approach to reach isolated residents at risk of severe impact from disasters, providing linguistically accessible resources and information.”

“The Malibu Foundation is excited to be able to provide culturally relevant emergency preparedness training to native Spanish speakers and elderly individuals in our region to help close the disaster awareness knowledge gap,” said Scarlet Eskew, Malibu Foundation Grants and Program Manager.

“We appreciate this opportunity to work with Cal OES to reach historically marginalized and underserved communities of color,” said Bishop John Smith Jr., Lily of the Valley Church CEO. “This program will allow our organization to provide training and education to our most vulnerable communities and help save lives during a major disaster.”

“Mi Familia Vota and its team members look forward to continuing educating and guiding our community members on COVID 19 and other emergencies,” said Theresa Zamora, Active California State Director Mi Familia Vota California.

“Uncontrollable and extreme wildfires continue to be a devastating threat to us Californians, with hotter, more intense, and more frequent wildfires worsening each year. We believe empowering communities to act is key to creating fire-adapted communities,” said Jessica Martinez, Program Director at California Fire Safe Council. “We are proud to partner with the Listos California for the second year. We believe our strengths lie in our community efforts and when we come together, we can make an impact and bolster our community readiness for wildfire.”

“Today, more than ever, we must ensure that immigrants and farmworkers are prepared to deal with disasters and emergencies through community education,” Arcela Nunez, Universidad Popular/Comite Civico del Valle Co-Founder. “We are excited to implement the Listos education program with community leaders and trusted messengers who come from the community and know the needs first-hand.”

“Funding through Listos California and our growing partnership with Cal OES will dramatically enhance our ability to increase disaster resiliency in vulnerable communities across California,” said Amy Bach, United Policyholders Executive Director. “By helping households access ‘hands-on’ risk reduction assistance and funding, we will be strengthening people’s ability to keep a financial safety net in place so they can overcome adversity and restore their quality of life in the event of a disaster.”

“The Salvation Army is proud to participate in the Listos California campaign. It will support our emergency preparedness efforts to our most vulnerable clientele and expand The Salvation Army’s disaster volunteers to support Southern California’s disaster response and recovery,” said John Chamness, Lt. Colonel, The Salvation Army California South Division Commander.