Thursday, February 11, 2021
|Content courtesy of: CSLB
When the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) declares a disaster, CSLB responds quickly to help educate survivors so they can make the best decisions possible when looking for a licensed contractor to help them rebuild. CSLB also provides tools and resources to contractors who want to work in disaster areas and assist with the rebuild.
The first step in CSLB’s disaster response is to assign staff or make materials available at various assistance centers opened to aid survivors. Local Assistance Centers (LACs) are run by OES; Disaster Relief Centers (DRCs) are run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A central feature of CSLB’s message to survivors is to only hire licensed contractors.
To further protect homeowners and to benefit our licensed contractors working in the affected areas, CSLB has partnered with the California Department of Insurance and local district attorney’s offices for a “boots on the ground” outreach program. This approach allows CSLB to reach homeowners and contractors beyond the walls of an assistance center.
The program consists of Enforcement staff placing hundreds of warning signs in both English and Spanish throughout affected disaster areas, as well distributing educational materials. Some warning signs caution consumers to hire only licensed contractors; while others warn that contracting without a license in a disaster area could lead to a felony charge, which includes state prison time and/or a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, partnering agencies conduct joint sweep operations of active jobsites and undercover sting operations, as needed.
To further assist applicants and licensees, CSLB has continued its practice of waiving fees for licensees to replace wall certificates and/or plastic pocket licenses lost in the fires. CSLB also has waived delinquent fees for failure to renew a license before it expires for fire survivors and has worked to expedite license applications for those planning to work in fire areas.
Should applicants and licensees need further assistance, please visit our website or contact us directly for additional services.
CSLB is now reaching out to local counties and jurisdictions to set up wildfire rebuilding workshops. As with past disasters, CSLB will offer two distinct wildfire rebuilding workshops:
1. For fire survivors looking to rebuild
2. For contractors who plan to work on the rebuilding effort
The fire survivor workshop will include essential consumer protection tips, information about contractor licensing and other requirements, insurance issues, how to work with an architect, and an update on the rebuild provided by the local building department.
The contractor workshop will include a building department update on the local rebuild and any special rules established for plan approvals and inspections. Licensing requirements are also covered, as are bonds and insurance, how to obtain a workers’ compensation policy, contract requirements, how to prevent complaints, and how the selection of building materials and the choice of building methods can help prevent future disasters.