El Niño California Storm Preparedness

El Niño phase was declared in summer 2023 and is expected to dissipate in spring 2024. California should expect several atmospheric rivers to bring periods of heavy rainfall with possible flooding, landslides, mud and debris flows, power outages, strong winds and blizzard conditions in the mountains.

Prepare before the storm arrives by signing up for county emergency alerts. Emergency alerts can help save your family, pets, and livestock. They provide you with important information about extreme weather, and other threats in your area.

Other emergency preparedness tips include:

  • Have a pet disaster evacuation plan in your family emergency plan. Include temporary lodging for you, your family, and your pets.
  • Get emergency and disaster preparedness information. This should be for the counties you live, work, or frequent.
  • Livestock and equine owners should create a farm disaster plan.
  • If you live in an area within a potential flood zone, do not wait until it is too late.
    • Have feed ready in case animals need to shelter in place. Make sure your livestock has access to food and fresh unfrozen drinking water.
    • Organize supplies for evacuating your animals (to higher ground, or other facilities).
    • Partner with other farms for potential transportation and evacuation needs.
    • Maintain a contact list of available and reliable local haulers.
  • Follow all directions from law enforcement. If needed, seek more details from local media or authorities such as the county emergency management websites .

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CARES - California Animal Response Emergency System

California Animal Response Emergency System (CARES)

The CARES Unit resides within the Emergency Preparedness and Response Section of the Animal Health Branch in the Animal Health and Food Safety Services Division of CDFA. The CARES Unit provides assistance to the California Emergency Support Function 11 Food and Agriculture. To meet animal disaster related responsibilities, CDFA leverages the CARES Unit to coordinate State agency response in support of local government and with the assistance of volunteer organizations. CARES is structured in accordance with the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Our Mission

To collaborate with response agencies to build capabilities and coordination that protect the safety of animals during the four (4) phases of emergency management.

What We Do

CARES is a system that provides operational guidance to assist with all aspects of animal care in the event of a disaster or emergency with the assistance of agencies and volunteer organizations.

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SEMS Infographic showing the flow of information and the coordination and control during an incident which includes State Operations Center (SOC), Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC), County (Emergency Operations Center (EOC)), Local Government (EOC and/or Department Operations Center (DOC)), Incident Command Post (ICP), and Incident. 
				The state of California shows a better understanding of the coordination during an incident with Incident, Local, and Mutual Aid Regions (Inland Region, Coastal Region, and Southern Region) mapped out.

Public Information

  • Volunteering - Learn how to become a volunteer in your community.
  • Disaster Preparedness - Local preparedness and emergency operation plans, disaster preparedness information and resources.
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Local Government Resources and Tools

Contact Us

CDFA Animal Health and Food Safety Services,
Animal Health Branch

1220 N Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: 916-900-5002
Fax: 916-900-5333
Email: CDFA.AHB_Cares_Program@cdfa.ca.gov
Our offices are open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Time.