Governor Newsom to Californians: “Be Hyper-Vigilant”

Federal emergency declaration gets California more funding, equipment, and personnel

SACRAMENTO – As California enters the third week of severe winter storms, Governor Gavin Newsom is urging people to keep their guard up as strong winds and heavy rains continue to threaten communities across the state.

Last night, President Biden approved Governor Newsom’s request for a federal emergency declaration, activating the full weight of the federal government to support California’s storm response and recovery efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is making federal disaster assistance available to supplement local and state resources, including funding, equipment and personnel.

Earlier today, Governor Newsom was briefed by state emergency officials on the latest conditions and response efforts, and the Governor continues to actively monitor storm impacts.

Also today, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) brought together more than 400 community-based organizations throughout the state in a first-of-its-kind effort to mobilize resources with a special emphasis on delivering help to vulnerable communities – unsheltered individuals, those with disabilities and older Californians.

As of Monday afternoon, winter storms have claimed the lives of 14 Californians – more lives than wildfires in the past two years combined.

“Our message to Californians is simple: be hyper-vigilant,” said Governor Newsom. “There are still several days of severe winter weather ahead and we need all Californians to be alert and heed the advice of emergency officials. Thanks to the President signing off on our request for emergency declaration, we are mobilizing all available resources at every level of government to protect lives and limit storm damage. Today marks five years since the deadly Montecito mudslides that claimed 23 lives – as Montecito faces evacuations today, it’s a solemn reminder of how quickly conditions can change.”

On Sunday, the Governor announced $202 million in new investments for long-term flood prevention proposed in the upcoming state budget. Also yesterday, Governor Newsom visited two sites along Deer Creek in Sacramento County to highlight the state’s work to repair damage from earlier storms and prepare for incoming severe weather.

The state is working to support the most vulnerable Californians with 11 shelters statewide along with an additional 20 shelters that are prestaged and on standby. Temporary shelter, food and additional resources are available at these sites and all are welcome. No ID is required.

Weather Forecast 

Heavy rainfall is forecasted throughout the state Tuesday and northern California on Wednesday, increasing the potential for flooding given saturated soils from the previous two weeks of precipitation. According to the National Weather Service, rainfall levels are 400-600% above average across California.

Precipitation map showing the atmospheric rivers hitting California since Jan. 6.

Emergency Alerts

Californians are reminded to dial 2-1-1 or 3-1-1 to get help or ask questions. If you have a critical emergency, call 911.

Staying informed by signing up for emergency alerts including warnings and evacuation notices. Go to to sign up to receive alerts from your county officials.

Download the Caltrans QuickMap app to receive real-time notifications for road closures, emergencies, and other traffic updates. You can download the app here.

You can also view real-time information on anticipated river floodings here.