Southern California El Nino Preparedness Guide, Part 3




Being prepared for the coming El Nino rains means having the right supplies and tools to deal with potential problems and many people have asked what they should have in their homes, cars or at work. We realize that there is a great deal of information out there and it may be overwhelming to say the least. Our goal in this post is to give you the basics you will need to be prepared and to give you as much information as possible for the assembly of your El Nino preparedness kits.

We are sure that many people reading this will already have many of the items listed here around their home. If not, it would be wise to obtain the items listed. Many of the items listed can also be used as part of an earthquake preparedness kit as well so the preparedness kits you put together will be put to use at some point. It is not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”.

It is expected that in many areas of Southern California, flooding and mudslides will be a major problem making roads inaccessible. There may also be power outages that affect many communities. If you are affected adversely by the rains, you and your family should consider sheltering in place until help arrives or when it is safe to travel to a safer place. Always be up to speed on weekly weather forecasts by watching your local news stations or you can sign up for text alerts vis your smart phone. One such app that is worth obtaining is the WeatherBug app available for most phones.

We are recommending that you assemble a kit that will last you for 48 hours however for the earthquake kits we recommend up to 96 hours. We are hoping that no one has to use their El Nino preparedness kits but it is always good to err on the side of caution.

As your El Nino preparedness kits are being assembled, please sit down with your family or co-workers and devise a plan. A good solid plan will allow you to think and act clearly in times of disaster or crisis. The ideal situation is to have a kit for the home, the office and even the car. You never know where you will be when disaster strikes.

Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list but examples of what you can assemble. As with any kit, they can be customized for the type of hazards in your region. You can be as basic as possible or as elaborate as possible. The sky is the limit!

If you have any questions in regards to El Nino preparedness or for media inquiries, you may email us at



The most important items to have in your kits is food and water. As happens with flooding many water systems can be compromised making drinking water unsafe for some time. Having ample water for cooking and personal hygiene is extremely important in times of disaster. It is even more crucial to have water in your vehicle if traveling abroad and get stuck somewhere.You will need 1 gallon per person per day (1/2 gallon for drinking, 1/2 gallon for sanitation). People who are sick, elderly or pregnant will need 1 gallon per day for drinking alone. Keep water in a cool dark place. Make sure to check for sell by or use by dates and restock as needed.

Make sure you have plenty of food in storage in case you have to shelter in place. Make sure you have food that has a long shelf life such as prepackaged MRE’s that can be purchased at stores such as Sport Chalet or REI. Many of those stores have family size kits enough for many days. Typically used by avid backpackers, MRE’s are perfect for disaster kits. Having MRE’s handy is also wise in case of power outages or if utility services are interrupted.

You must also make sure you make plans for ample food supply for your pets and If you have a baby, make sure you have enough formula in the kit as well. This is crucial in times of disaster!


Having a first aid kit and knowing how to use the first aid kit will go a long way in times of disaster especially when emergency responders are overwhelmed. Having the right supplies and knowing how to use them will ensure positive outcomes.It is recommended to have a kit in your home or for each member of the household, your vehicles and your office. The kits do not have to be elaborate such as the trauma kits our lifeguard/medics carry.If you are unsure about how to render first aid to the injured, consider taking a first aid class in your area or if you are in the Los Angeles region, you can sign up for a class with one of our instructors.

Here are the recommended items you should have in your first aid kit:

2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
1 blanket (space blanket)
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
1 instant cold compress
2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
1 pair of scissors
1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
2 triangular bandages
First aid instruction booklet

Also make sure you have plenty of consumable medical supplies such as catheters or diapers in your El Nino preparedness kits.


Having your medications is right up there with food and water. For some, being without their medications can be life or death. It is important to make sure you have extra medications packed into the El Nino preparedness kit.Make sure you have a card that lists all the medications and what they are for in case emergency responders need to know. This will help in any treatment decisions that have to be made.


There is a possibility of power outages during El Nino storms so it would be wise to stock up on candles and have a few flashlights for emergencies. It is best to use flashlights that use batteries and make sure you have plenty of spare batteries.If you want to save money on flashlights and batteries, we would highly recommend purchasing 4 to 6 Garrity emergency flashlights that are completely sealed from the elements. These can be purchased at major outlets such as Home Depot or Lowes Improvement Centers.


If the power should should go out, it is important to know what is happening in your community by way of news. Having a radio will allow you to know what is occurring and when to expect something.


Having tools to dig out of a mudslide or moving debris are always recommended. We are not talking about large cumbersome tools but compact tools that can be attached to a 3 day pack. You want tools that are portable.

– Shovel
– Pick
– Hammer
– Knives


When people are putting their El Nino Preparedness kits together, the question as to where to put the items always comes up. We suggest backpacks or containers.For portability we suggest anything from a basic day pack to something such as a three day pack. There are many options to choose from but for the money we suggest purchasing packs from, or even an Army Navy Surplus store.

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