California Secures Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to Support Storm Response and Recovery


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that the White House has approved California’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to further support the state’s all-of-government emergency response and recovery efforts amid severe storm impacts throughout California.

“This declaration brings in more vital resources as we continue to work in lockstep with local, state and federal partners to support communities that have been turned upside down by these storms,” said Governor Newsom. “First responders and state personnel are on the ground in hard-hit regions across California to assist the ongoing response and recovery. We are committed to supporting our communities over the long haul and thank the Biden Administration for their continued partnership.”

The Presidential Major Disaster Declaration will help Californians in impacted counties through eligibility for several programs and supports that can include housing assistance, food aid, counseling, and medical and legal services. Today’s declaration makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Kern, Mariposa, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Tulare, and Tuolumne counties. It also includes public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs, and hazard mitigation.

Additional counties may be added as further damage assessments are conducted, particularly in areas where record snowpack makes it difficult to accurately assess the full extent of damages.

At Governor Newsom’s request, President Biden previously issued a Presidential Emergency Declaration authorizing federal assistance to support storm response and recovery efforts. The Governor has proclaimed a storm state of emergency in 47 counties since the start of severe storms in late February, and last week issued an executive order to support flood response and recovery in Tulare Lake Basin communities.

The Major Disaster Declaration further bolsters the state’s ongoing response and recovery efforts to support communities across California, including the deployment of the California National Guard and other state personnel to perform lifesaving rescue missions; the mobilization of food, water, sandbags, cots, and other commodities to areas in need; and providing equipment and personnel to assist in the fortification of levees, clearing of debris and snow from roadways, medical support at shelters, and staffing support for local assistance centers.

Supporting undocumented workers and communities ineligible for FEMA individual assistance due to immigration status, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is mobilizing existing funds from the state’s Rapid Response Fund to provide disaster recovery services to immigrant Californians experiencing the ongoing impacts of floods and recent weather events. These efforts also include ensuring mixed-status families are accessing federal and state resources that they may be eligible for. In some cases, a household may be eligible for federal and state resources if a member of their household has qualifying immigration status, for example a family with a U.S. citizen child. CDSS is currently working to fund partners in counties affected by recent storms to provide disaster recovery services, including case management and direct assistance for eligible individuals. The selected local partners will announce the details of their programs once they receive notice of their funding awards and can begin providing services.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.

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