California Agencies

American Institute of Architects – California Council (AIA) is the nation's largest state architectural organization, representing more than 10,000 architects on issues of statewide importance to the public and profession. The Council, comprising 22 regional chapters, has a strong reputation as a member-driven professional organization.

American Planning Association (APA) – California Chapter is a network of practicing planners, citizens and elected officials committed to urban, suburban, regional and rural planning in the state of California.

Association of Bay Area Governments is the regional planning and services agency for local governments and residents in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

California Alliance for Response through its forums on Cultural Heritage and Disaster Management brings cultural institutions, emergency managers and first responders together to help forge working relationships before disaster strikes.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) protects the people of California from fires, responds to emergencies, and protects and enhances forest, range, and watershed values providing social, economic, and environmental benefits to rural and urban citizens.

California State Historical Building Safety Board  provides regulations and standards for the rehabilitation, preservation, restoration (including related reconstruction) or relocation as applicable to all historical buildings, structures and properties deemed of importance to the history, architecture, or culture of an area by an appropriate local or state governmental jurisdiction. 

California Main Street Program utilizes a public-private partnership of private investment, local government support, and local non-profit assistance to revitalize historic commercial districts.

California Preservation Foundation  is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of California's diverse cultural and architectural heritage.

California Preservation Program provides disaster assistance to libraries, archives, historical societies and cultural institutions.

California Resources Agency restores, protects and manages the state's natural, historical and cultural resources for current and future generations using creative approaches and solutions based on science, collaboration and respect for all the communities and interests involved.

California Seismic Safety Commission was established to advise the Governor, Legislature, and state and local governments on ways to reduce earthquake risk.  It investigates earthquakes, researches earthquake-related issues and reports, and recommends to the Governor and Legislature policies and programs needed to reduce earthquake risk.

California Volunteers is a lead oversight agency for California Citizen Corps Program to coordinate in-state volunteer activities to strengthen state’s ability to manage disaster and emergencies of all kinds by through better prepared communities.

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is responsible for working with state agencies and local governments on emergency planning, response, and recovery efforts. CalOES responds to and aids in the recovery from emergencies within the State of California under the authorities of the California Emergency Services Act (ESA), the California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA), the federal Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, and other legislation.

Cal OES and OHP have developed a Programmatic Agreement that specifies to how historic properties will be handled under federally-declared emergencies. For questions about how OHP coordinates with FEMA and Cal OES, contact Tim Brandt, OHP Architectural Review and Environmental Compliance Unit Supervisor.

Preservation Partners are historic preservation advocacy groups throughout California with which OHP maintains close ties.  We strongly advise that owners of historic properties contact the appropriate local advocacy group, early in the process of disaster recovery.

Other Agencies

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) regulations guide Section 106 review, specifying actions Federal agencies must take to meet their legal obligations. Federal agenies are responsible for initiating Section 106 review, most of which takes place between the agency and State and tribal officials.

Code of Federal Regulations 36 CRF Part 800

American Institute for Conservation (AIC) offers free emergency response assistance to cultural organizations.  Contact the Collections Emergency Response Team (CERT) when a disaster has damaged collections.  Assistance is available by phone and a Rapid Response Team may be able to provide on-site assessment.  24-hour assistance for advice by phone is 202-661-8068

Applied Technology Council (ATC) has developed state of the art, user friendly, engineering resources and applications for use in mitigating the effects of natural and other hazards on the built environment and making on-the-spot evaluations and decisions regarding the continued use and occupancy of damaged buildings. Resources available for purchase or download include but are not limited to:

ATC-20 Rapid Evaluation Safety Assessment Form 
ATC-20 Detailed Evaluation Safety Assessment Form
ATC 20-2 Appendix A: Guidelines for Owners and Occupants of Damaged Buildings
ATC-45 Field Manual: Safety Evaluation of Buildings after Wind Storms and Floods (for purchase)
ATC-45 Rapid Evaluation Safety Assessment Form
ATC-45 Detailed Evaluation Safety Assessment Form 
ATC-45 Appendix E: Guidelines for Owners and Occupants of Damaged Buildings

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works to anticipate, preempt, detect and deter threats to the homeland and to safeguard our people and their freedoms, critical infrastructure, property and the economy of our nation from acts of terrorism, natural disasters and other emergencies. The DHS Ready Campaign encourages citizens to take important preparedness steps that will greatly improve their ability to survive and recover from all types of emergencies, whether natural or man-made and provides place-based information about potential emergencies and appropriate ways to respond to them.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act was enacted in 1988 to support State and local governments and their citizens when disasters overwhelm them. This law establishes a process for requesting and obtaining a presidential disaster declaration, defines the type and scope of assistance available from the Federal government, and set the condition for obtaining that assistance.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), now part of the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security is tasked with coordinating the response. FEMA works with state and local governments and the private sector to stimulate increased participation in emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery programs related to natural disasters. 

Federal assistance is available through FEMA to help people and communities recover from the effects of the California wildfires.  Business owners and residents of declared counties who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by registering online or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

California Disaster History
FEMA Historic Preservation: Useful Links
FEMA Resource & Document Library

The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) provides DisasterSafety.Org as a service to homeowners and small business owners as part of its overall mission of reducing property loss and coping with disasters including floods, earthquakes, and wildfires.

The National Park Service (NPS) is the nation's leading provider of information and guidance on the care of historic buildings.

The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties are intended to promote responsible preservation practices that help protect our Nation's irreplaceable cultural resources. The four treatment approaches are Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction. The treatments are a series of concepts about maintaining, repairing and replacing historic materials, as well as designing new additions or making alterations.

The NPS Technical Preservation Services provides more than 150 publications that convey state-of-the-art information about responsible methods of carrying for historic buildings.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works with state and local partner organizations, community leaders, public officials, and grassroots advocacy groups, and provides technical assistance, small grants, and legal interventions to support the protection, stewardship, and continued use of heritage resources.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.

U.S. Forest Service (USFS) works to advance technologies in fire management and suppression, maintain and improve the extremely efficient mobilization and tracking systems in place, and reach out in support of their Federal, State, and International fire partners.

U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) plays a critical role in providing disaster recovery products and services to federal agencies.  Now state and local governments can also benefit from the speed and savings of the GSA Federal Supply Schedules.

Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program
National Wildland Fire Program

U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Natural Hazards Gateway includes a series of sections to educate citizens, emergency managers, and lawmakers on seven natural hazards facing the nation: earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanoes, and wildfires, and show how USGS science helps mitigate disasters and build resilient communities.