Preparing for El Nino
What is El Nino?
When strong El Niño conditions exist, there is a higher probability of increased rainfall along the coast of California. The increased rainfall can result in heavier than normal runoff, causing regional and large-scale flooding.
However, it is difficult to predict how strong this winter’s El Niño could become, and the effects storms may have on the West Coast. So it is important to be aware of the possible impacts from an El Niño winter and plan accordingly.
Be Prepared, Stay Informed
What to do BEFORE the rain
Check your property
‐ Inspect and clear drains and rain gutters
‐ Trim trees and shrubs
‐ Inspect your roof
‐ Remove debris and secure outdoor furniture
– Fix your leaks before it rains
– Use sandbags in known flooding areas on your property
– Make sure you direct any downspouts and any overflow from rain barrels away from the house
– Make a family emergency plan
– Create emergency supply kits for Home, Work and Car (See tips below)
Inspect your vehicle
‐ Windshield wipers
‐ Head lights, tail lights, brake lights
What to do DURING the rain
– Monitor the weather
‐ Monitor radio and TV news closely for information about weather conditions, flooding in your area and safety precautions being advised.
‐ Sign up with your City’s notficaton system
‐ Join your City on Facebook and Twitter
‐ Check your City’s website
Don’t place trash containers in the street
‐ Place containers on parkways or sidewalks
‐ Trash containers in the street may block storm drains, causing a flood
Respect barricades and authorities
‐ Do not drive around or through road closures
– Be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation is ordered. Have alternate evacuation routes out of your neighborhood.
– Stay away from flood channels and flowing rivers. You could be knocked off your feet in as little as six inches of water.
– Don’t try to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water. Turn around—don’t drown.
– If trapped in your vehicle, stay with it. If possible, relocate to the hood if water continues to rise.
– Stay away from steep slopes that may become unstable when saturated.
– Be alert when driving. Roads may become blocked or closed due to hazards.
– Notfy the City if you see a blocked storm drain
STAY AWAY from downed power lines which can cause injury or death. Call 9‐1‐1 to report it
– Report small problems as soon as they occur so they don’t turn into bigger problems
What to do AFTER the rain
– Floodwaters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories. If your home has been flooded, protect your family’s health by cleaning up right away. Throw out foods and medicines that may have been affected.
– Look for tilted trees, telephone poles, fences or walls, and for new holes or bare spots on hillsides. Report problems to the authorities.
What to do every rainy season
– Turn off your automatic watering system: It’s possible you won’t need it until spring.
– Consider installing rain barrels at downspouts
Create an emergency kit including the following items:
• Food and water to last three days to a week. Don’t forget the pets.
• First aid kit
• Flashlights (and extra batteries)
• Radio (and extra batteries)
• Medications (over-the-counter and prescription)
• Cash and important documents
• Clothing and sturdy shoes
• Tools (wrench, duct tape, fire extinguisher, sturdy gloves, whistle)
• Sanitation and hygiene supplies