California Secures Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to Support Winter 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 support the state’s emergency response to ongoing storm impacts including flooding, mudslides and landslides in communities across the state.

“California is grateful for President Biden’s swift approval of this critical support to communities reeling from these ongoing storms,” said Governor Newsom, who earlier today met with evacuated residents in Merced County and surveyed damage in the area. “We’ll continue to work in lockstep with local, state and federal partners to help keep Californians safe and make sure our communities have the resources and assistance they need to rebuild and recover.”

The Presidential Major Disaster Declaration will help Californians in impacted counties through eligibility for several programs and supports, and includes public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs and hazard mitigation. Today’s declaration makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Merced, Sacramento and Santa Cruz. Additional impacted counties may be included once storm conditions allow state, local and federal officials to safely assess the scope of damage.

Earlier this week, President Biden approved the Governor’s request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration to bolster state, local and tribal government storm response efforts. Governor Newsom has activated the State Operations Center to its highest level and proclaimed a state of emergency statewide.

Amid ongoing storms and flooding, the state and its partners are working quickly to initiate recovery efforts and help Californians return home as soon as it is safe to do so. Work is underway to remove hazardous waste and clear debris and there are teams on the ground conducting damage assessments documenting the extent of the losses so that the state can maximize its requests for federal aid.

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