Update on Federal Assistance for January Winter Storms


The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the state of California is committed to 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. FEMA ultimately determines whether to approve or deny individual counties for both the Public Assistance and Individual Assistance programs.

Governor Gavin Newsom requested President Biden issue a major disaster declaration in a total of 51 counties. FEMA informed Cal OES today of their determination of county eligibility. To date, the following counties have been approved for federal assistance.

  • 14 Counties were approved for Individual Assistance.
  • 44 Counties were approved for Public Assistance
  • 38 Counties are eligible for Small Business Administration Assistance
  • 58 Counties are eligible for Hazard Mitigation grants.

Additional Counties will be eligible for other state and federal programs including: California Disaster Assistances Act, Small Business Administration or United States Department of Agriculture Assistance.

Additional Background
Below is a broad overview of what has been approved and the next steps to support communities throughout California. As of February 22, 2023, the following counties have been included in the Major Disaster Declaration:

  • Individual Assistance (assistance to individuals and households): Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura counties.
    • Residents and business owners in counties eligible for Individual Assistance counties who sustained losses in the designated areas can apply for disaster assistance:
      • Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
      • Calling 800-621-3362
      • By using the FEMA smart phone application
  • Public Assistance (Categories A-G): Amador, Alpine, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Placer, San Benito, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislas, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, and Yolo counties
  • Hazard mitigation (assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long- term risk to life and property from natural hazards): All municipalities in the State of California are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant

If a county feels that they were improperly denied federal assistance, Cal OES may appeal the decision within 30 days of the denial.

Your county may also qualify for state funding through the California Disaster Assistance Act, which reimburses up to 75% of eligible costs for emergency response and infrastructure damage.

Likewise, counties may also qualify for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for individuals and businesses impacted in their communities or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs to help farmers, ranchers and businesses that have been hard hit by this event.