Need Disaster Relief? Here Are Some Options

Dear Friend,

This winter, California has experienced a relentless stream of severe storms—with rainstorms, flooding, and mudslides causing over one billion dollars in damages. My heart goes out to everyone who lost a loved one, and every family who saw their home or business destroyed or damaged.

I want every Californian to know: help is available.

If you or someone you know had property damaged during the storms in December or January, you may be eligible for federal assistance.

I led California’s Congressional Delegation in pushing for a federal disaster declaration by President Biden — which is necessary to open up the assistance available to Californians. Thanks to our efforts, President Biden issued a federal disaster declaration for multiple counties in California.

Currently, residents in Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura Counties are eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance.

Individual Assistance is direct assistance to eligible individuals and families who have sustained losses due to disasters, including grants and low interest loans for housing, repairs, and disaster related expenses. Impacted individuals in those counties should apply online at or call 1-800-621-3362 to begin the process. Additionally, small businesses can learn about Small Business Administration (SBA) programs, including Disaster Loan Assistance, at

Updated information from FEMA about the current status of this disaster and the assistance available can be found here.  

Visit our web page with additional tips for staying safe during and recovering after a natural disaster—including links and contacts to access financial assistance and replace personal documents.

But we also know that after weeks of devastating storms, California’s communities will need more support to rebuild. In January, I welcomed President Biden to California to meet with first responders and local leaders and to survey the damage and recovery efforts along the Central Coast.

Pictured: Screenshot of Senator Padilla’s Twitter video detailing his visit with President Biden to communities along California’s coast affected by severe winter storms.

I’ve pushed for federal funding to rebuild infrastructure damaged by the widespread flooding, mudslides, landslides, and sinkholes. That includes leading 38 members of the California Congressional Delegation in a bipartisan effort to request expedited funding and assistance to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the repair and reconstruction of highways and roads. Following our push, the Federal Highway Administration is providing nearly $30 million to address damage to highways, roads, and bridges.

My office is 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.

Thank you,

Alex Padilla
United States Senator for California

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