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Support and resources for employees affected by wildfires

A message to benefits-eligible employees located in or within one-mile of wildfire evacuation areas was sent from VP for Human Resources Elizabeth Zacharias providing information on the support and the resources Stanford is able to provide.

Sent on August 20, 2020

Dear colleague:

As we’ve learned more about the extent of the wildfires burning across the Bay Area and the state, we know this situation is creating heartbreak and uncertainty for many. I truly hope that you and your family are safe. Because your home address is in a ZIP code that may be experiencing fire and/or evacuations, I wanted to reach out with some resources that may help you during this difficult time.


  • Interim pay: In the short-term, we have approved additional time off—up to eight days of pay between Wednesday, August 19, and Friday, August 28—if you are unable to work due to evacuations. We also recognize that evacuation and the threat of home loss is a traumatic experience, and you may need to take additional vacation/PTO time for your own wellbeing and that of your family. Please stay in touch with your manager or human resources manager about your needs and when you plan to return to your regular responsibilities.
  • The Faculty Staff Help Center is available to you for free professional and confidential counseling and is operating remotely during the pandemic.
  • The Employee Emergency Assistance Fund provides grants for benefits-eligible faculty and staff experiencing a personal hardship or a federally declared disaster. If you have incurred qualifying expenses related to being displaced, for example, and do not have reasonable financial resources to meet the expense, you may be eligible for reimbursement. These grants are considered non-taxable income; they are not loans. The details of your needs are not shared with your colleagues at Stanford. America’s Charities, which independently receives and reviews all applications on the university’s behalf, typically provides decisions within 10 business days after receiving a completed application.

If you have questions or may need assistance that isn’t described in this email, contact your HR representative or supervisor. Please know I am deeply sorry for any heartbreak and uncertainty you may be facing. I hope you stay safe, and find strength in the collective good will of our entire Stanford community.


Elizabeth Zacharias's signature



Elizabeth Zacharias

Vice President for Human Resources

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