As our state faces increasingly frequent risks from wildfires, landslides, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters, my top priority is to ensure that every Californian has access to the resources they need to recover from these events.
After a disaster strikes, recovery and rebuilding can be overwhelming and difficult to manage. That’s why I’m committed to helping you and your family navigate all of the resources available through local, state, and federal governments to ensure our communities receive the resources necessary to recover.
My office is also available to assist you in navigating federal agencies through our casework program. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please reach out to my office to begin the process.
In This Section:
- Recovering After a Disaster
- Atmospheric River Events December 2022-January 2023
- During a Disaster
- Federally Designated Disasters and Assistance
Recovering After a Disaster
Recovery Aid After a Disaster
After a disaster, assistance is available to help you and your loved ones in the recovery process.
The links below can help you find the assistance best suited for your situation after an emergency or disaster.
- Different types of insurance can help alleviate the financial burdens of rebuilding a home or business, or replacing other material possessions after a catastrophe. Here are a few ways the California Department of Insurance can help:
- The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides flood insurance to property owners, renters and businesses, and having this coverage helps them recover faster after a disaster. For more information contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency NFIP Flood Insurance Program.
- The California Department of Food and Agriculture offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist you in your recovery efforts following drought: California Drought Information & Assistance
- Need help paying an energy bill? The California Department of Community Services and Development might be able to help: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- If you are a CalFresh recipient whose food spoiled during a disaster, contact the California Department of Social Services for more information on how to apply for assistance.
- The Guide to Disaster Assistance Services for Immigrants in California, provides information about the types of federal, state, and local disaster assistance services available in the state.
- Listos California has free materials in many languages that you can use and share to promote disaster preparedness in your home and community: Disaster Resource Guide available in multiple languages including Spanish, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, and Hmong.
- If you have been negatively impacted or displaced by natural disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, and flooding, the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) requires California health plans to help. Contact the Department of Managed Health Care for more information: Assisting Enrollees Impacted by Natural Disasters
- If your home has been impacted by natural disasters the Contractors State License Board Urges Homeowners to Hire Licensed Contractors Following Storm Damage
- If you have experienced fraud following natural and man-made disasters, you can receive help. Contact the U.S. Department of Justice for more information: National Center for Disaster Fraud
- If you reside in an affected area due to natural disasters, you are eligible for tax relief. Check out the IRS page for more information: Tax Relief for Storm Victims
If you lose any vital records or documents during a natural disaster, you can request copies by contacting the issuing agency directly. See below for more about how to replace these documents.
- Vital Records Requests:
- Birth, death, and marriage records can be requested from the county recorder’s office in the county where the event occurred. Your county’s registrar’s office contact information can be found here.
- California Drivers License:
- Phone: 800-777-0133
- Visit a California DMV office to complete an application. Replacement license forms must be delivered in person.
- Green cards:
- Phone: 800-375-5283
- Website: www.uscis.gov
- Medicare cards:
- Phone: 800-772-1213; (TTY) 800-325-0778
- Website: www.ssa.gov/medicare
- Military records:
- Phone: 866-272-6272
- Website: www.archives.gov/contact/
- Phone:1-877-487-2778; 888-874-7793 (TTY)
- Website: www.travel.state.gov
- Social Security card:
- Phone: 800-772-1213; (TTY) 800-325-0778
- Website: www.ssa.gov
- U.S. Savings Bonds:
- Phone: 1-844-284-2676
- Website: www.treasurydirect.gov
- U.S. tax returns:
- Phone: 800-829-1040
- Website: www.irs.gov
Atmospheric River Events December 2022-January 2023
President Biden declared a major disaster in the State of California and ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning on December 27, 2022.
The President’s action made Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties Individuals in these counties that have been impacted by the recent winter storms are eligible to register with FEMA for disaster assistance. Additional counties may be added later as damage assessments are completed. Updated information about the current status of this disaster and the assistance available can be found here.
If eligible, there are multiple ways individuals can register for assistance. They can go online at disasterassistance.gov, use FEMA’s app, or call (800) 621-FEMA.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding also is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in impacted areas.
During a Disaster
Staying Informed During a Natural Disaster
When a disaster strikes, getting fast, accurate information can mean the difference between life and death. Stay updated on weather advisories in your area, and sign up for California’s Wireless Emergency Alert Sign Up and Early Earthquake Warning System Alerts. California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services news page will also have some of the most current information on emergencies impacting the state.
Safety During an Emergency
Please be sure to follow local officials’ instructions during a disaster as they continuously monitor the situation and will have the most up-to-date information available. The following resources and guides can also be helpful in navigating natural disasters and other emergencies.
- Wildfires: Ready, Set, GO! Wildfire Guide
- Earthquakes: Earthquake Preparedness and Safety Guide
- Flooding: Flood Preparedness Guide
- Power Outages: Safety in a Power Outage
- Mental Health Impacts: Mental Health Resources Available During and After Emergencies and Disasters;Disaster Distress Hotline
If a disaster should strike near you and you have to evacuate, or if your power goes out for an extended period of time, safely proceed to the nearest shelter or resource center available to you.
Federally Designated Disasters and Assistance
After a federal disaster has been requested by the Governor and declared by the President, residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding also is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the designated areas.
Residents and business owners who do sustain losses in the designated areas can apply for disaster assistance:
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
- By calling 800-621-3362
- By using the FEMA smart phone application
- If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
- Information about specific disasters and the assistance available for them can be found here.
FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC’s) are accessible facilities and mobile offices you can visit to learn more about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs. You may also visit to ask questions about your case. DRC’s are set up in convenient areas after a disaster to make them easier to find. The DRC locator helps you find the hours, services, and locations of DRCs near you.
A DRC may be able to help you:
- Apply for assistance. You may also Apply for FEMA assistance online or apply/check your status by phone 1-800-621-336.
- Learn more about disaster assistance programs.
- Learn the status of your FEMA application.
- Understand any letters you get from FEMA.
- Find housing and rental assistance information.
- Get answers to questions or resolve problems.
- Get referrals to agencies that may offer other assistance.
- Learn about Small Business Administration (SBA) programs including Disaster Loan Assistance.