Amourence Lee · LIKE IT IS with MAYOR LEE
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  • Writer's pictureCouncilwoman Lee

Flood Relief Fund raises $50k+ in days

On New Year’s Eve, the Bay Area was inundated and no one was expecting the storm to be as severe as it was. Our dispatch received 1,300 calls for service and I signed the declaration of a local emergency as my first act as Mayor to activate our Emergency Operations Center.

San Mateo wasn’t alone in experiencing significant impacts and flooding. This has been an incredibly challenging experience for our entire region. In the City, many San Mateo residents and business owners were facing financial hardship - without insurance or knowledge of what costs might be recoverable.

On January 7th, I launched the San Mateo Flood Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to residents and local businesses in the City to off-set costs to mitigate mold and flood water contaminants in their homes and those in need of repairs to heating and electrical systems - folks who have lost years of investments in their homes and businesses.

People needed help ASAP and I knew that given the opportunity our community would show up to help. I have so much faith in the goodwill of San Mateans, in just a few days the San Mateo Flood Relief Fund raised over $50,000.

Even after President Biden declared the disaster, we had no idea if FEMA or the State would help reimburse victims with the cost of repairs, lost investments, or cleanup. Regardless, the City and community needs to act to support folks get back on their feet.

On Jan 17th, I asked my colleagues to support an emergency meeting to discuss a City funding allocation. In February, the council approved an allocation of $150,000 of City funds and a contract with our local nonprofit to administer Flood Relief Fund grants to eligible San Mateo residents and businesses up to $5,000. We are thrilled to partner with Samaritan House, a core service agency in the County that specializes in case management, vetting program benefit eligibility, and can tap into wrap-around services when needed. Applications for the $200,000+ San Mateo Flood Relief Fund will be offered in English, Spanish and Chinese, more details coming soon!

I hope we come away from this experience unified in supporting climate resiliency. San Mateo needs greater investments in our infrastructure and municipal services because our City employees are our first responders.

UPDATE: Thank you for your generous support!

Please give to help your neighbors!

Now is the time to show your love for San Mateo through your generous contributions to the San Mateo Flood Relief Fund GoFundMe campaign. Folks have contributed at all levels from $10 to $10,000 - please give what you can to support our neighbors and local businesses.

Major Donor Appreciation

  • $10,000: Bohannon Northwood Joint Venture, California Water Service, Windy Hill Property Ventures

  • $5,000: Lane Partners, Prometheus, Rakuten Americas

Storm Update

On January 3rd, I voted to approve the declaration of a local emergency as one of my first acts as Mayor of San Mateo. We immediately activate our Emergency Operations Center so the City can respond to the full extent possible with more operational flexibility.

Local Emergency
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FEMA Individual Assistance

Did you experience damage or losses due to the series of New Year’s storms? You may be eligible for federal disaster assistance. San Mateo County home owners and renters can apply for Federal Disaster Assistance by March 16, 2023.

Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing and essential home repairs as well as other serious disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses, transportation, childcare and moving and storage expenses.

The deadline to apply is March 16, 2023. There are several ways that you can apply for FEMA assistance:

  • Visit

  • Download the FEMA mobile app

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Help is available in many languages. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Helpline operators speak many languages and lines are open daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.

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