EL NINO PREPAREDNESS IS KEY TO SURVIVAL!
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Golden State Lifeguards is working hard daily to ensure that Southern Californians are prepared for the coming projected El Nino storms. There are many important steps that Southern Californians can take at home to prepare for El Nino. The key is to be prepared and not to be caught off guard. What you do now will be the key to being prepared or being a victim. The choice is ultimately yours but don’t wait too long or wait til the last minute.
The following is an El Nino preparedness check list that should be implemented right away:
- Clean out all gutters, v-ditches and drainage systems.
- Discuss evacuation procedures with the family members to include pets.
- Decide on a point of contact should there be a separation of family members.
- Assemble a Disaster supply evacuation kit for you and your pets. Include items such as radio, flashlight, food, water, first aid kit, and cash. Keep in an accessible location.
- Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber and other emergency building materials handy for waterproofing, particularly if you have experienced problems before or think you may have problems.
- Purchase or renew your flood insurance policy.
- Know how to turn off your utilities if officials tell you to do so or if you detect a gas leak.
- Learn more about the path of storm flows in your area.
- Regularly listen to weather forecasts and public service announcements during the storm season. You can also download weather apps that will alert you to watches & warnings.
- Understand the pattern of events that could lead to a flood situation.
- Know your access routes and keep your car fueled.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING THE INTRUSION OF WATER INTO BUILDINGS DURING EL NINO EVENT:
- Place sandbags or, preferably, more permanent barriers such as closable solid gates across subterranean driveway and other building entrances, window wells, vents and other openings to help prevent water from entering the building.
- Construct berms or otherwise raise the ground level in strategic locations to help divert “sheet flow” away from building entrances.
- Lower the level of the water in swimming pools to help prevent them from overflowing into buildings or over slopes.
- Remove or build water-tight enclosures around electrical panels (or vaults) and gas meters in subterranean locations to prevent the threat of electrocution and explosion in case these areas
fill with water.
- Remove heating and other mechanical equipment from subterranean locations; reinstall at least one foot above the surrounding ground level.
- Service (or install) sump pumps in subterranean parking structures and other below-grade locations designed to remove water from these locations.
- Engage the services of a licensed roofing contractor to thoroughly check and repair (or replace) worn roofing materials.
- Make sure that water from down spouts and paved surfaces drains away from slopes, preferably to public streets, preventing slopes from becoming saturated and creating mud slides.
- Cover the top of slopes with sheets of plastic to prevent water from entering and causing mud slides.
EL NINO STORM EXPECTATIONS:
El Nino storm damage can occur very quickly, with little warning. Unlike an earthquake, however, many events occur which should alert people that potential storm damage may be imminent. During the storm season, persons should pay close attention to news reports and be prepared to take immediate action. Close attention should be made to the following situations which can occur during severe storms:
- Sudden high and fast-moving water: Heavy rain and saturated soils can cause very sudden increases in the depth and velocity of run-off, without warning.
- Mud flows in the foothills: During heavy rains the ground can become so saturated that it can no longer absorb water, leading to water flows which strip off the top soil to create mud flows.
- Local flooding: Heavy rains can cause ponding of water in low lying areas. Streets and residences, including multi-residential buildings, can be affected by this standing water.
- Electrical outages: Storm conditions, including heavy rains, flooding, and strong winds can cause local power outages. Residents should be prepared to live without electricity for periods of time.
- Water contamination: Local flooding can affect the water distribution system. Residents should monitor the media for information on any problems with drinking water.
- Sewage system problems: Local flooding can have the potential to overwhelm sewage systems. Residents should be careful about wading in flooded areas.
IN THE EVENT OF EL NINO FLOODING:
- Secure the safety of your family first before your property.
- Know: A “Flood Watch” means: a flood is possible in your area. A “Flood Warning” means: a flood is occurring or will soon occur.
- Do not enter a flooded subterranean garage, building lobby or any part of a building that is below grade for any reason.
- Do not attempt to evacuate by automobile or swimming through moving water. Drowning can easily occur in a flood situation. Even water as low as six inches deep may cause you to be swept away.
- Do not try to drive over a flooded road. You could be stranded and trapped.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.
- Electrical currents can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or to the City.
- Use the telephone ONLY for family emergency needs or to report dangerous conditions.
- Avoid unnecessary trips.
- Don’t sight see in flooded areas. Stay away from flood control channels.
- Report any blocked or clogged street catch basins.
Go to Part 2 of the El Nino Preparedness Guide, http://www.goldenstatelifeguards.com/southern-california-el-nino-preparedness-guide-part-2/
If you would more El Nino preparedness information, you can visit your local fire station or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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