Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency for Ridgecrest Earthquake

SACRAMENTO July 4, 2019 – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an emergency proclamation due to the effects of a 6.4 magnitude earthquake near Ridgecrest in Kern County and continued aftershocks that have damaged critical infrastructure, homes and other structures and caused fires.

The full text of the emergency proclamation is below:

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PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY

WHEREAS on July 4, 2019, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered near the City of Ridgecrest in Kern County caused significant damage; and

WHEREAS multiple earthquake aftershocks continue to impact the region; and

WHEREAS the earthquake damaged roads and buildings, resulted in multiple structural fires, and necessitated evacuations; and

WHEREAS the earthquake damaged critical infrastructure, including electrical service lines, water lines, and gas lines, impacting thousands of customers; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8558(b), I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist in Kern County due to the earthquake; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8558(b), I find that the conditions caused by the earthquake, by reason of its magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to appropriately respond; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8625(c), I find that local authority is inadequate to cope with the magnitude of the damage caused by the earthquake; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8571, I find that strict compliance with various statutes and regulations specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the earthquake.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the State Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, Government Code section 8625, HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist in Kern County.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

1. All agencies of the state government utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan. Also, all citizens are to heed the advice of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in order to protect their safety.

2. The Office of Emergency Services shall provide local government assistance to Kern County, if appropriate, under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act, Government Code section 8680 et seq., and California Code of Regulations, Title 19, section 2900 et seq.

3. As necessary to assist local governments and for the protection of public health and the environment, state agencies shall enter into contracts to arrange for the procurement of materials, goods, and services necessary to quickly assist with the response to and recovery from the impacts of the earthquake. Applicable provisions of the Government Code and the Public Contract Code, including but not limited to travel, advertising, and competitive bidding requirements, are suspended to the extent necessary to address the effects of the earthquake.

4. The provisions of Unemployment Insurance Code section 1253 imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants are suspended as to all applicants who are unemployed as a direct result of the earthquake who applied for unemployment insurance benefits during the time period beginning July 4, 2019, and ending on the close of business on January 5, 2020, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

5. Vehicle Code sections 9265(a), 9867, 14901, 14902, and 15255.2, requiring the imposition of fees, are suspended with regard to any request for replacement of a driver’s identification card, vehicle registration certificate, or certificate of title, by any individual who lost such records as a result of the earthquake. Such records shall be replaced without charge.

6. The provisions of Vehicle Code sections 4602 and 5902, requiring the timely registration or transfer of title are suspended with regard to any registration or transfer of title by any resident of Kern County who is unable to comply with those requirements as a result of the earthquake. The time covered by this suspension shall not be included in calculating any late penalty pursuant to Vehicle Code section 9554.

7. Health and Safety Code sections 103525.5 and 103625, and Penal Code section 14251, requiring the imposition of fees are hereby suspended with regard to any request for copies of certificates of birth, death, marriage, and dissolution of marriage records, by any individual who lost such records as a result of the earthquake. Such copies shall be provided without charge.

8. The California Department of Transportation shall formally request immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program, United States Code, Title 23, section 125, in order to obtain federal assistance for highway repairs or reconstruction.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 4th day of July 2019.