How to Request a Temp Dwelling Permit (and the locations that support this policy.)

UPDATE:  RVsWithoutBorders is no longer donating RVs in response to the Northern California Firestorms.  This has not been updated since Christmas.  95% of this information is useful but municipality info will change over time.


This is a living, changing document and we will update frequently. You are invited to offer your suggestions to improve this resource for other people.

The following pages will guide you through the process of acquiring a temporary dwelling permits:

Counties with containing the disaster zones

Incorporated cities (Check back often for updates.  County/city always has final word and usually most recent info on their websites.)


Home owners hosting an RV on their property
after a large scale disaster are
a huge asset to economic recovery!

Sonoma County contacted us 5 days after the fire and asked my friends and I to help with emergency housing thru our platform RVsWithoutBorders.org. Given the strong political will to bend the rules, we said yes. Then we learned in Sonoma County that at least 100,000 people were displaced. FEMA stated that we need to reach a goal of acquiring 5,000 housing units.  Obviously they can’t do it alone and neither can we.  EVERYONE IS PART OF THE SOLUTION!

As fatigue sets in, collaboration will diminish. In anticipation of this, while collaboration is still high, timely solutions to re-house people to minimize economic damage is critical because we believe once people have left the area, many aren’t likely to return.

Some of the benefits of sharing this wisdom for rapid re-housing are;

  1. Displaced people can re-establish their foundation to thrive faster and cheaper.
  2. Decreases health impacts from trauma and instability resulting from such an event.
  3. Helps keep local businesses and schools thriving.
  4. More tax revenue is collected thru retail sales and less abandonment of properties.
  5. Keeps more labor available in the local economy to help with the re-build.
  6. Reduces the probability of theft on job sites where homes are being rebuilt.
  7. Reduces the impact on demand for housing units which escalates housing costs for everyone.

Two possibilities exist for legally placing an RV for temporary occupancy:

  1. Use existing undamaged parcels with intact utilities (preferred!)
  2. Using burned lots is not a solution for ((emergency)) housing. Expect this to take 3-4 months to complete from burn date, including debris removal and utility restoration.
TipsFromSurvivors will share answers to common questions, how to avoid costly mistakes or ideas for a successful experience with using RVs.

On the permitting process, we only give you an overview of our current knowledge.  Your local building and planning department has the final word on how they want permitting to be done.

TipsFromSurvivors and RVsWithoutBorders are doing some behind the scenes work to match RVs, users and properties, but are not a party to actual agreements. We will not be involved directly in your negotiations with asset owners, utility companies or your local building and planning department.

~*~ Updated Dec. 18, 2017 ~*~


Disclaimer: Everything related to RVs Without Borders and Tips From Survivors is being done by Good Samaritans. By using this site or its content or our ideas in any way, you agree to now and forever waive and release any claims whatsoever against the organizers, volunteers, and RV owners involved with this initiative, arising from any cause or event, or any action or non-action, real or imagined.

Lessons from those who lost their homes so you can protect your home, life savings & your loved ones.