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After the Fire

after fireIf your property is damaged by fire, there are many resources available to you to aid in recovery. If you have insurance, contact your insurance agent as soon as you can to report how, when, and where the damage occurred. They will walk you through the steps of documenting your losses. Call your insurance company before you throw any damaged items away or clean anything up! Always take pictures of damage right after the fire. If you do not have insurance, contact the Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Services or the emergency services department of the city you live in. Staff will be able to provide information on assistance programs.

If you are not finding the support you need from local agencies, The Red Guide to Recovery is an excellent source of information that helps you navigate how to recover after a natural disaster and includes information on safe clean up practices.

In general, it is advisable to stay off the burned area as much as possible to ensure your safety and to allow for natural regeneration of native plants which will eventually stabilize the soil. If you have concerns about soil stabilization in the wake of fire, contact the local National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office at (831) 475-1967 for an expert opinion.