Federal disaster assistance became available Monday to several California counties following an emergency declaration by President Joe Biden.
The help comes following the winter storms that started Sunday in the state. Bay Area counties that can receive aid include Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Sonoma. The declaration also includes nearby Monterey and Santa Cruz counties as well as other California counties.
The storm affecting the Bay Area and beyond has prompted evacuations, flooding, downed trees, mudslides and power outages.
Federal assistance will augment state, local and tribal efforts to protect lives and property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be coordinating federal disaster relief.
An ending date for the aid is open because the weather hasn’t cleared up yet. State and federal officials will decide on an ending date.
The assistance granted to California counties is in the form of direct federal assistance, which means FEMA can task other federal agencies to provide help to the counties if the help is needed.
The aid may not be needed and therefore not provided by the federal government.
“It’s a preparation type of declaration,” said Robert Barker, a FEMA spokesperson on Monday.
Aid to families and households is not currently authorized by the president.
Andrew Grant has been assigned as the federal coordinating officer to oversee recovery operations for the emergency declaration.