City Issues Retroactive Local Proclamation of Emergency to Ensure Eligibility for Disaster Relief Funding

With President Biden’s approval of California Emergency, City would be eligible for potential relief funding for storm impacts retroactive to New Year’s Eve
January 09, 2023

San Francisco, CA – Today, Mayor London N. Breed issued a Local Proclamation of Emergency in San Francisco due to multiple winter storms, which began on New Year’s Eve. The proclamation is one of the steps San Francisco must take in order to recover storm-related costs from the state and federal governments. It also allows San Francisco to activate city employees as Disaster Services Workers and streamline contracting procedures for the procurement of goods and services related to storm impacts, such as sandbags and removal of downed trees from public rights of way.     

The State of California proclaimed a state of emergency on January 4, 2023. Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. approved the State’s request for federal declaration of emergency. The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, including direct Federal assistance under the Public Assistance program which will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.     

San Francisco’s proclamation of local emergency is a step the City must take in order to recover costs associated with storm damage preparation, response, and recovery from the state and federal government. The proclamation is retroactive for 10 days, meaning it will cover any impacts of the New Year’s Eve storms and must be ratified by the Board of Supervisors within the next seven days. The local proclamation of emergency will exist for no longer than 30 days, with a one-time option to renew for an additional 30 days with concurrence of the Board of Supervisors.     

“This proclamation is an important step to ensure the City and County is eligible for any funding that comes from the federal government to address storm impacts,” said Mayor London Breed. “We have been directing resources to support our residents and small businesses, and activating staff all across the City. I want to thank the President and the Governor for their support of the communities impacted by our storms, not just in San Francisco but across the Bay Area and Northern California.”    

Since December 31, 2022, San Francisco has experienced flooding, mudslides, and power outages that have impacted local streets, public buildings and infrastructure, residences, businesses, and community facilities. To date, nearly 8” of rain has fallen in the City since New Year’s Eve, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). In response to storm-related impacts, the City has:  

  • Received more than 3,600 storm-related 311 service requests including nearly 1,500 requests for flooding and 1,200 requests for tree maintenance. 
  • Distributed over 15,000 sandbags to residents and businesses, and thousands more to city agencies to support protection of critical infrastructure.
  • Increased the number of inclement weather self-referral shelter beds available to people experiencing homelessness, in addition to existing Winter Shelter Program beds. 

In response to the winter storms, San Francisco activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which allows multiple city departments to coordinate citywide resources and operations, such as clearing storm drains, responding to mudslides, distributing sandbags, and ensuring residents are informed about what actions they can take to be prepared. San Francisco’s EOC was activated on December 31, 2022, and has operated continuously since January 4, 2023, in support of storm preparedness, response, and recovery operations. Disaster Service Workers, if activated, will be deployed by the EOC to support San Francisco’s operations.   

Residents are asked to please keep 9-1-1 available for life and safety emergencies and to please report non-life-threatening storm-related issues such as clogged catch basins, residential or street flooding, sewer backups, or wastewater odors to 311 online at, on the app for Android and iPhone, or by calling 3-1-1.