How California Responds to Winter Weather


When winter weather impacts California, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) leads the effort to ensure local governments have the resources they need to keep Californians safe.  

Helping Californians 

Through the State Operations Center, Cal OES works with state partners like the California Department of Transportation, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Social Services and others to ensure local governments have the resources they need to keep roads open and support vulnerable communities. 

To aid local government partners, Cal OES coordinates any necessary response and provide resources to communities such as generators, comfort kits, or other necessities to ensure that residents stay safe.  

“Cal OES is operational 24/7, 365 days a year to monitor emergency events within the state of California, including the weather,” said Sheldon Fung Law Branch Assistant Chief. 

Through the Cal OES Law Branch and Fire and Rescue Branch, the state works closely with local officials to engage a network of first responders and tools during an emergency.  

“We actively monitor the weather and work with local law enforcement to determine if they need mutual aid or they need search and rescue for any event,” said Fung. 

In addition, the Cal OES Fire and Rescue Branch works with a fleet of more than 270 fire engines throughout 60 local fire jurisdictions to rapidly deploy personnel and equipment as needed. 

The Cal OES Logistics Branch also coordinates with local partners to quickly mobilize comfort items, including food, water, blankets and generators. This team of telecommunications professionals also works with utility partners to rapidly restore power if it goes out during an extreme weather event. 

As more snow and rain are on the horizon, do your part and be prepared! 

Winter Weather Tips 

With the arrival of winter weather, Cal OES would like to remind drivers to make sure they’re prepared to travel safely in changing conditions. 

“If you’re going up in the mountains, it’s very important to have a full tank of gas or your car fully charged and carry an emergency pack that includes a blanket, water, and food,” Fung said. 

Before leaving for your trip, download the Caltrans QuickMap app or visit QuickMap ( to learn up-to-the minute road information on traffic, closures, chain control, and more.