Recommendations for Ongoing Crisis Response to CA Storms & Tornadoes in the South

Since December 2022, historic levels of rain and snow in California from nine atmospheric river storms have caused floods, landslides, sinkholes, and infrastructure damage that has affected millions of residents. While the worst of the storms have passed, the long recovery continues for many communities. Simultaneously, the 2023 tornado season has already caused severe damage across the Southern United States.

As with many disasters, the communities most impacted include people of color, older adults, people living with health conditions or impairments, undocumented immigrants, and those living in rural areas or public housing. Philanthropists have a unique opportunity to fund innovative solutions to help these communities recover and build resilience to future disasters.

During emergency response and recovery efforts, monetary donations to well-mobilized nonprofits make an immediate difference. All recommendations are registered 501(c)(3) organizations that accept contributions from individuals, foundations, and donor-advised funds.

California Storms

Immediate Relief

Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP): Since 2010, CDP has been helping individuals, foundations and corporations increase the effectiveness of their philanthropic response to disasters and humanitarian crises. The Disaster Recovery Fund (select “California Storms” in Designation drop-down menu) supports the repair and cleanup of flood-damaged homes (i.e. “muck out”), mental health services, and cash assistance to displaced peoples for emergency housing, food, and other essential items.

League of California Community Foundations: The Statewide Disaster Relief, Recovery, and Resilience Fund through the League of California Community Foundations (LCCF) is a centralized funding source for local community foundations to pool donations and re-grant to human service nonprofits working on the frontlines of disaster-impacted areas. Funded nonprofits provide safety net services such as cash and navigation assistance, social services, mental health support, and more. LCCF’s equity approach prioritizes historically under-resourced communities that include undocumented, low-income, tribal, indigenous, and rural people. To target a specific region, donate to disaster relief funds through the Humboldt Area Foundation, Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, and Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

Long-term Recovery and Resilience

Helping communities sustainably recover from a disaster requires more than urgent emergency services. Long-term recovery efforts address unjust systems that cause inequitable outcomes for vulnerable communities; these funds build community resilience to future disasters and support holistic wellbeing.

Redwood Region Climate & Community Resilience Hub (CORE Hub) is a forward-thinking community organization in Humboldt County with the goal of transforming Redwood Region of Northern CA – home to Indigenous Tribal lands and a UNESCO heritage site – into the first proven carbon-sequestering rural area in the U.S. The CORE Hub helps convene dialogues between and distribute resources to communities as they reorganize and relocate built and natural systems in better alignment with human needs; these processes will be documented so local communities and other rural regions and Tribal Nations have a template for their own decarbonized resilience. For inquiries, contact:

Tornadoes in Southern U.S.

Immediate & Long-term Response

Center for Disaster Philanthropy: The Tornado Recovery Fund is filling gaps in government support for communities in Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas that have been severely affected by tornadoes that began in January 2023. The Fund will focus on medium- and long-term tornado recovery needs such as rebuilding homes and livelihoods, mental health services, and other challenges identified in partnership with affected communities as recovery efforts progress.