By Dianne Jacob
Wildfire warning: In light of COVID-19, the county, Cal Fire, the Red Cross and others are revamping evacuation plans and other emergency protocols to bolster public safety during a major firestorm.
Residents under evacuation orders this year could be housed in a hotel or motel, or at multiple shelters with fewer than 50 people instead of a larger traditional shelter. The Red Cross is working with nearly 100 lodging businesses across the county to make rooms available in a crisis, and they have identified over 200 shelter locations to provide these safer options.
We’re entering the riskiest part of the wildfire season while still being in the middle of an unprecedented health crisis. That is forcing us to rethink and retool our disaster-planning efforts.
Small business alert: Applications are still being accepted for the county’s COVID-19 stimulus grant program.
The Board of Supervisors recently voted to establish the $17 million fund, setting aside $3.4 million for private for-profit and non-profit businesses in East County.
Many of our retail shops, restaurants and other businesses are in dire financial straits and need a financial lifeline. The grants will offer relief as we continue battle the virus and work to get our economy on track.
To apply, start here: sandiegocounty.gov/stimulusgrant/. The application deadline is August 15.
Helping seniors: At my urging, the county is moving to expand meal deliveries from local restaurants to seniors and other vulnerable populations.
The Board of Supervisors has agreed to tap into federal CARES Act money to ramp up the deliveries. In recent months, the county has been offering the meals through a program called Great Plates.
These deliveries are not only critical for seniors but are another way we can support restaurants that may be struggling for survival.
In the Zone: Just a reminder that the county’s Cool Zone program is up and running again, but on a limited basis due to COVID-19. For the latest locations and hours, visit CoolZones.org.
—Dianne Jacob represents District 2 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. For questions or comments about your county government, call 619- 531-5522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.