OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Alameda County on Saturday reactivated a disaster relief fund to help individuals, community-based organizations, first responders and health care workers in need of various things thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

To replenish this fund, the county is reaching out to our philanthropic, business, private, public nonprofits and other partners for donations.

“Looking ahead, we are just beginning to understand and address the impact of the pandemic,” said County Administrator Susan S. Muranishi. “What we do know, without doubt, is that many will certainly face financial struggles and unforeseen challenges in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved reactivation of the disaster relief fund at its March 31 meeting. The fund was first created in response to Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. It has been reactivated several times, including during the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, to the Northern Japan Earthquake/Tsunami in 2011, to the fatal Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland in 2016 and, in 2018, to the California wildfires.

Due to the enormous and varied needs facing the community and the health care systems at facing the response to the coronavirus, Alameda County has established two separate funds.

One, the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, will provide needed services to those directly affected by the pandemic. This includes emergency childcare, shelter and food aid, personal protective equipment (PPE), continuation of client benefits, emergency relief for community-based partners and other services directly related to combating the pandemic.

The other is the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Recovery Fund, its financial contributions going to PPE and other supplies to assist first responders, emergency workers and health care providers.

Donations will be accepted from individuals, philanthropy and businesses, and should be designated to either the emergency or recovery fund.

Cash donations may be contributed by sending a personal check payable to the Alameda County Disaster Relief Fund c/o the Auditor-Controller Agency, 1221 Oak Street, Room 238, Oakland, CA 94612 (Tax ID . 94-6000501). Credit card donations can be made through the Disaster Relief Fund website www.acgov.org/government/news/disaster.html; specify either the emergency fund or the recovery fund.

In addition to those two funds, Alameda County is also organizing donations of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE). We can only accept new items in original packaging.

Needed PPE include N95 or P100 respirator masks, surgical masks, protective gowns, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and goggles and other eye protection. To donate, go to https://acgovcares.org/.ppedonations.

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