FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Monday to help the emergency response to the severe storms and support the impacted communities across the state.

According to the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, the Governor has traveled to several counties including Merced County and Santa Barbara County. In the past week, California has secured a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration and a Presidential Emergency Declaration to assist in response recovery efforts to the storms, which to date has resulted in at least 20 fatalities as well as the evacuation of thousands of residents.

The Governor’s Office says that the executive order includes provisions that will help keep enough staff for emergency responses by waiving work hours limitations for retired workers helping with the response. Also, support impacted residents by waiving fees to replace records such as marriage and birth certificates and providing flexibility to help healthcare facilities in impacted areas remain open and support schools in Merced County impacted by the flooding.

With storms expected through midweek, the state will continue to work with local and federal partners to prepare for and respond to flooding, debris flow, and other storm-related emergencies.