The California State Guard
Men and Women at the Frontlines of California’s Disasters
The California State Guard is a volunteer force that protects California and its citizens from natural and man-made disasters, including wildfires, floods, earthquakes, and pandemics. It was formed to provide California with a trained and organized force in the event of a state security or state emergency. The California State Guard volunteers train and prepare for these emergencies.
In the last few years, the California State Guard has kept California and its citizens safe in many ways, including but not limited to the following:
During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, California State Guard members performed the following tasks, as part of its humanitarian mission:
- Filled vacancies at food banks, many of which lost volunteers due to coronavirus restrictions
- Assisted in logistical support for food deliveries throughout the state
- Assembled medical equipment, including ventilators, for use to treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Delivered food to vulnerable populations who could not leave their homes due to risk of infection
- Deployed complete medical teams including doctors and nurses to respond rapidly to the pandemic
- Constructed sheltering tents outside of hospitals for safety and health
Service members of the California State Guard have been called to Emergency State Active Duty (ESAD) to assist firefighting, support, relief, and shelter operations on several occasions, including:
- Camp Fire (2018)
- Paradise Fire (2018)
- Mendocino Complex (2017)
- Carr Fire (2017)
- Blue Cut Fire (2016)
- Rocky Fire (2015)
- Operation Lightning Strike (2008)
In 2019, California State Guard service members were activated to assist in operations during the Russian River High Water Incident in Guerneville. In 2017, California State Guard service members assisted with Oroville Dam evacuations, when portions of the structure crumbled, threatening hundreds of thousands of residents nearby.
Severe Winter Storms
The winter of 2016-2017 was one of the wettest that California had seen in years. California residents throughout the state were at serious risk of flooding and mudslides. California State Guard members were called to prepare local residents with evacuation, support, and emergency shelter.
The California State Guard trains and prepares for natural disasters to include catastrophic earthquakes. California State Guard members play an integral role in the response to earthquakes, safety, and emergency management operations.