California State Seal

News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 ,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #23-081
Print This Release


Safe shelter, kitchen and sanitation facilities – among other upgrades – will improve fairgrounds’ utility for evacuees, emergency responders


SACRAMENTO, May 25, 2023 - To help support people and communities during disasters, like evacuations caused by flooding, CDFA’s Fairs and Expositions Branch announces the awarding of $89 million in grants as part of the Fairgrounds Resilience Centers Program. 

The grants will support infrastructure projects such as additional safe-shelter space, kitchen and sanitation facilities, showers and related improvements that will protect and comfort people and families in times of need. The same improvements will also expand services and capabilities for many other events throughout the year, adding value to these community assets. The funding for the grants program was appropriated as part of the 2021-2022 California general fund budget.

The resilience centers will enhance emergency preparedness capabilities, particularly in response to climate change. Funding will be used for infrastructure that supports emergency evacuation and shelter of people, pets and livestock, and it will also fund facilities and tools to improve how responders can use these sites as base camps during emergency events. The projects and sites that have been selected were also evaluated to consider their potential to provide spaces that the community can use outside of contingency times. The grants will equip facilities and provide spaces that can be used year-round to offer services and activities geared to strengthen local communities through civic, social, educational, and economic development programming. Business incubation centers, satellite college campus facilities, and telemedicine centers are among the viable concepts. 
“This program is a prime example of the value of California’s fairgrounds,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “These grants will provide more than 460,000 square feet of new space for emergency sheltering, and they will position fairgrounds to offer their communities additional resources during climate-related disasters or other emergency events. The enhanced fairgrounds will also provide a unique opportunity for their communities to engage in the use of the facilities for other services and activities throughout the entire year.”
A committee of fairgrounds stakeholders conferred to identify criteria that would assist in the selection of the Fairgrounds Resilience Centers awardees. Criteria included the fairgrounds’ ease of access and egress during an emergency event, the level of climate resiliency of the sites, and whether they would be able to serve severely disadvantaged areas. 
The committee consisted of CDFA, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), and representatives of the fairgrounds industry (including California Construction Authority, the joint powers authority in charge of construction at fairgrounds). 
Planning and construction work related to the Fairgrounds Resilience Centers is expected to begin in late summer 2023. The complete list of grant awardees and summaries of their projects can be found at:



CDFA Protects
Follow CDFA News on Twitter and Facebook
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814