The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services remains activated and continues in coordination with state and local partners to provide recovery resources to our community following two significant earthquakes affecting the county. In addition to the earthquake response, the county’s Emergency Operations Center is also monitoring and preparing for any potential impacts related to an upcoming winter storm system forecasted to reach the county within the next day.
On Tuesday, December 20, 2022, a 6.4M earthquake struck Humboldt County. Since this earthquake, the county has experienced over 200 aftershocks, one of which being a 5.4M on New Year’s Day. Community members are advised to be prepared to drop, cover, and hold on in the event of additional aftershocks. For earthquake safety tips, visit: ready.gov/earthquakes.
Over 70 structures have been determined unsafe throughout the county due to earthquake-related damages. Damage assessments are ongoing in communities that experienced earthquake impacts. Building inspectors from the County of Humboldt, local cities and fire departments, and the State of California have been deployed to assist the city of Rio Dell and surrounding communities with damage assessment.
Residents are encouraged to report earthquake damages to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services at: https://humboldtgov.org/FormCenter/Office-of-Emergency-Services-23/Damage-Report-20221220-Earthquake-216
Over the holiday weekend, a Local Assistance Center was opened and connected nearly 300 community members impacted by the earthquake with state and local assistance. Those who were unable to visit this center and in need of additional assistance are encouraged to review the following information booklet:
RED CROSS OVERNIGHT SHELTER
The Red Cross Overnight Shelter remains in operation at Monument Middle School, 95 Center Street, Rio Dell. Services provided to overnight shelter guests impacted by the earthquake include temporary overnight sheltering, cots and blankets, showers, hygiene kits, snacks and full meals, water and charging stations.
Additionally, the Red Cross is available to connect community members impacted by the earthquake with a variety of other services to aid in the recovery process. To learn more, contact 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800- 733-2767).
EMERGENCY SUPPLIES DISTRIBUTION
Water and nonperishable food items continue to be distributed at the Rio Dell Community Resource Center, located at 406 Wildwood Ave, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
FOOD REPLACEMENT, MEDI-CAL, AND TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE
A representative with the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services is on site at the Rio Dell Community Resource Center to assist community members with applying for services such as CalFresh replacement, Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, the Transportation Assistance Program, courtesy applications to other counties and referrals to other community resources. This service is available from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Additional food assistance programs are available through Food for People. To find a distribution near you, visit: foodforpeople.org/need-food.
Rio Dell residents may utilize the two dumpsters located outside of Rio Dell City Hall, at 675 Wildwood Avenue, to dispose of earthquake debris. Please do not dispose of hazardous waste in these receptacles. Hazardous items not fit for disposal in these receptacles include leftover household products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic as household hazardous waste. Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them. More information regarding hazardous waste disposal can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/hw/household-hazardous-waste-hhw
Residents in Rio Dell who are having trouble getting in touch with their landlords regarding earthquake related repairs to rented dwellings are encouraged to contact the city of Rio Dell at 707-764-3532.
Residents outside of Rio Dell with remaining excess earthquake-related debris should contact their local sanitation provider.
Local businesses impacted by the earthquake are asked to complete a Business Recovery Survey, located online here. This survey was created by the County’s Economic Development Department, GoHumCo, and is being utilized to track, monitor and quantify business losses in Humboldt County following the earthquake. As of Jan. 3, 2023, businesses have reported a total of over $1.4 million in losses.
For more business support resources visit: https://www.gohumco.com/379/Economic-Earthquake-Recovery-Response
Financial donations to assist with the response can be made directly to the following:
- Rio Dell Fire Department: Venmo: @RioDellFire-Department, GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/3036e4ec, or mailed to 50 W Center St. Rio Dell, CA 95562
- Pay it Forward Humboldt: 707-616-9191, firstname.lastname@example.org
- American Red Cross: 1-800-435-7669, redcross.org
The most important thing you can do while the community recovers is to keep informed.
For updated information regarding the Humboldt County earthquake response, please go to humboldtsheriff.org/emergency and visit @HumCoOES on Facebook and Twitter.