2023 Winter Storms Recovery



The state of California is committed to continuing our support to California communities and maximizing state and federal aid to those who have been adversely impacted by the winter storms.

Now that a Major Disaster has been declared by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., eligibility for federal programs will be based on the unique damage and extent of impacts incurred locally.

Below is a broad overview of what has been approved and the next steps to support communities throughout California.


On January 12, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom requested an Expedited Major Disaster Declaration. The President can declare a Major Disaster Declaration for any natural event that the President believes has caused damage of such severity that it is beyond the combined capabilities of state and local governments to respond. A Major Disaster Declaration provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure. On January 14, 2023, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., approved the Major Disaster Declaration.

For counties not currently covered by FEMA’s Major Disaster Declaration, additional areas may be requested and added after further damage assessments. The state is working with FEMA to expeditiously conduct these assessments.

Under the President’s order signed January 18, 2023, the federal share increased to 100 percent of the total eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B) including direct federal assistance for 60 days from the start of the incident period, December 27, 2022.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on January 31st, 2023 to support the state’s ongoing storm response and recovery efforts, including provisions to ease access to unemployment benefits for impacted residents and help ensure adequate staffing by waiving work hour limitations for retired annuitants in local governments. The order also ends waivers enacted during the storms to facilitate fuel transportation and restoration of electrical power.

Current Assistance Available for this Federal Major Disaster Declaration:

  Individual Assistance Public Assistance Hazard Mitigation Assistance
Counties Designated Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura counties Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Benito, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo counties All 58 counties
What it means Assistance to individuals and households to repair or replace damaged property. Housing assistance available only for primary residence. Other Needs Assistance (ONA) may include transportation, childcare and medical and dental expenses. FEMA works with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer low-interest disaster loans to businesses (including private non-profit organizations), homeowners, and renters with physical damage. Assistance to state and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations for emergency work (which includes debris removal) and permanent work, Categories A-G.



Assistance to state and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards.


Resource Centers

Disaster recovery centers are activated following major disasters to support survivors and businesses that have suffered disaster-related losses or damages. Each center is unique and locally driven with support from local, state, federal, and non-profit agencies.

Federal Assistance

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can apply for disaster assistance:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Calling 800-621-3362
  • By using the FEMA smart phone application
  • If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

State Assistance

Franchise Tax Board

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

Contractors State License Board

California Employment Development Department

State of California Department of Justice

Philanthropic Efforts 


On January 8, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration: Emergency Protective Measures (Category B) limited to Direct Federal Assistance. The Emergency Declaration was approved by President Biden. An Emergency Declaration can be declared for any occasion or instance when the President determines federal assistance is needed, supplementing State and local efforts in providing emergency services, such as the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe.

So far, 41 counties have been added to the Presidential Emergency Declaration, including:

Alameda, Contra Costa, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba.

Assistance Available for this Presidential Emergency Declaration

  Public Assistance Category B – Direct Federal Assistance
Counties included 41 counties
What it means When the impact of a disaster is so severe that neither the State nor local government can adequately respond, either by direct performance or by contract, the State may request that certain emergency work be performed directly by a Federal Agency.