August 24, 2015 - Dear Residents of Napa Valley: One year ago today, we were deeply shaken by a powerful earthquake.
Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged in the largest seismic event the Bay Area has seen since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, mostly in and around the City of Napa. More than 250 people were injured; almost 20 were admitted to the hospital; and one person regrettably lost her life as a result of the 6.0 temblor.
Once the frightful, pre-dawn shaking stopped, families took care of their own, then set about looking after their neighbors. With flashlights and wrenches in hand, on streets and cul-de-sacs throughout the southern end of the county, the vigorous were of service to the vulnerable, turning off gas lines, clearing furniture from doorways and offering words of comfort to those who needed them most.
In a similar way, within days of the quake, the Napa Valley Vintners made a very generous gift to our community: $10 million to help Napa Valley Community Foundation establish a special Fund to assist residents, businesses and nonprofits with recovery and rebuilding. Three weeks after the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund was created, we announced our first round of grant distributions. Since that time, we have:
- Worked in partnership with 500 additional donors and 23 nonprofit organizations
- Convened decision-makers responsible for disaster relief from local and Federal government agencies, to ensure a coordinated response that reached as many people as possible
- Provided critical services to more than 12,000 earthquake victims including medical care, counseling, temporary housing, food, clothing, legal aid, case management and application assistance
- Directed cash aid to 1,327 residents, businesses and nonprofits to replace essential household items; make structural repairs to ensure the safety of their homes; or replace business inventory, fixtures and equipment
- Distributed $6.4 million from the Fund to achieve the outcomes above, helping to leverage an additional $47 million in Federal aid dollars for more than 4,600 Napa County residents.
In the following pages, you can read about what's been accomplished so far, and how we've spent the monies entrusted to us. You can also learn about our plans for a final phase of grants, covering two broad categories: funding to help qualified homeowners make earthquake-related repairs if their dwellings remain unsafe; and funding to make the community at large more resilient in the event of a future disaster.
Finally, we have included a brief reflection on what worked well, and what could be better next time. In this area especially, we welcome your comments, ideas and constructive feedback.
Terence P. Mulligan
To read our entire one year report, please click here.