All Fire Survivors – Much of this information will be useful to you. I will try to reorganize this page to be more useful to those outside of Sonoma County, but for now, please read through to see how forming or joining a neighborhood group is very valuable for fire survivors.
From a Tubbs Fire Survivor: You will learn so much from others as you go through the rebuilding process. We all have our strengths so share yours and use those of others. The amount of time that you will spend on the rebuild, insurance, recovery process is staggering, so pooling all your resources is extremely helpful. This will also have a secondary function of providing emotional support simply by “being” with others in the same boat. Email groups are great. Enlist the help of “standing” neighbors if necessary. A “standing” neighbor hosts my neighborhood’s email group and a few insureds groups.
Not sure what district you are in? See https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Supervisors/Supervisorial-District-Map/
Community Rebuild Websites and Email Groups
Hidden Valley Estates (Santa Rosa) Email List. Open only to individual homeowners (not developers) of homes in the area bounded roughly by Parker Hill, Sleepy Hollow, Deer Park, Aaron, Leete
Add your neighborhood group to this list: Email NeighborsTogetherSR@gmail.com.
Testimonials from Sonoma County Block Captains or Members of a “Block”
From a community member:
Just want to acknowledge how useful it is to talk with others who have shared the same experience and are looking to solve the same problems. We have forged a stronger community by working together, sharing resources and ideas.
From a Mark West block capn:
The Block Captain meeting for me has been the single best meeting since day one. Just the contacts I’ve made with the people showing up let alone the guests that Sup Gore and Stuart get in. It’s has been very productive and fruitful. Had you never showed up to our meeting, we probably would not be aware of your SF group.
I don’t know if there really are any draw backs. Sometimes, issues are discussed that are not really relative to MWE but I also think it is beneficial to hear what others are going through to have a well rounded awareness.
From a Knights Valley block capn (who was a 1991 Oakland hills fire survivor himself; didn’t lose his home in 2017 but wanted to help his neighbors who did):
The block captain program has taken all the politics or other divisive factors out of community organization and allowed us to transcend our differences for the common cause or rebuilding and resilience. It is just the way I was looking for to get involved to help my community and the block captains are somehow a “self sifted” group of positive community minded spirits that inspire me to be there and contribute every week. Very importantly it takes a Stuart Tiffen, whose notes make me look good every week, a James Gore, who makes you feel like your efforts are making a difference and not just lip service, and a Patrick Mullen who actually helps my neighbors when thy call with a permit issue thus lending credibility to my referral to him. Same thing regarding PGE, FEMA, Army Corps, etc who brought the personal presence to our meetings and responsiveness. Again helping to justify the time with results.
From a Fountaingrove block capn:
Being part of a neighborhood group and attending the UPI meetings has helped me:
1) Learn about my insurance
– What a scope of loss is
– What I need to do to collect from my insurance company
– What success others have had with my same insurer
– How to read my policy
– How to pursue further action and resolve disputes (i.e. The Dept of Insurance)
– What other neighbors did to resolve their differences
2) Learn about rebuilding
– New code upgrade
– Vetting contractors – comparative pricing, bringing in group builders for better pricing
– Discussing our concerns with Supervisors
– Lobbying companies to help defray the costs of new requirements (i.e. larger water pipes for fire sprinklers)
– Providing direct access to politicians who can influence and request additional state and federal aid
– Uncovering and trying to resolve problems unique to our area (i.e. the high rejection rate of SBA loans)
3) Learn about available support
– Free legal aid by law firms and other agencies
– Community grants for rebuilding
– General support for neighbors and friends to compare and commiserate
Neighbors Together ~ Strong & Resilient (NTSR) does not provide any advice or endorse any service provider or agency.
October 2017 Northern California Firestorm: Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa: Coffey Park; Fountaingrove (Hidden Valley Estates (HVE) is lumped with FG); Larkfield-Wikiup-Mark West-Riebli; Rincon Valley-Deer Trail-Calistoga Rd; Bennett Ridge (Nuns/Annadel Fire) . . . See more . . . »