Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency throughout California Wednesday in advance of a major winter storm expected to dump potentially damaging amounts of rain.

According to the governor’s office, the declaration will bolster emergency response efforts while authorizing the mobilization of the California National Guard for disaster response. It also directed Caltrans to request immediate assistance from the Federal Highway Administration to expedite road repairs due to the storms.

“This state of emergency will allow the state to respond quickly as the storm develops and support local officials in their ongoing response,” Newsom said in a statement.

According to the governor’s office, state fire and rescue personnel have been pre-positioned across the state to quickly respond to emergencies such as mud and debris flows, flooding and landslides.

The state Health and Human Services Agency was also working with local agencies to assist with efforts to notify vulnerable populations — such as the homeless and the disabled — about the pending storm and provide services such as temporary shelter.

State officials urged residents to avoid non-essential travel during the storm and to be prepared for possible power outages by having flashlights and batteries ready. Residents were also urged to have enough non-perishable food available to last for three days if needed in the event of a major emergency.

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