How to Be Prepared for Rain Storms Surging Toward SoCal

With "the largest rain event" in three years coming to Southern California there are many ways to stay safe and ready

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It has been so long since Southern California has experienced some serious rain that many residents may have forgotten what it is like.

    We’ve compiled some possibly forgotten ways you can prepare for the SoCal soaker, because the region is set to see its “largest rain event” since March 2011.

    “Get ready for those soggy days ahead,” NBC4 meteorologist Crystal Egger said. “Clear those drainage areas and make sure you are ready for this rain.”

    Watch: Timelapse of LA's Much-Needed Storm

    [LA] It's Here: Timelapse of LA's Much-Anticipated Storm
    This timelapse video shot by NBC4's downtown Los Angeles camera on Feb. 26, 2014, shows the first of two winter storms rolling into the region.

    Stuart Seto, of the National Weather Service, said gutters and sandbags will play a significant role in damage reduction.

    “Do some sandbagging and put it where water could get in your home,” Seto said. “Get the debris out of your gutters because you do not want it flowing out into the streets or in your yard.”

    Cities should be providing sandbags to their residents, Seto said. In Glendora, where the potential for mud and debris flow is high after January’s Colby Fire, more than 7,000 bags were handed out Wednesday.

    “If you live near a burn area, be prepared to evacuate and have everything ready to go,” Seto said.

    All residents should have food, blankets, clothes and flashlights readily available, he added. The potential for flooding and power outages makes these items a necessity.

    Those living near streams should have an evacuation plan as the waterways, no matter how small, can overflow.

    “Have plans to go elsewhere just in case,” Seto said.

    Southern Californians who plan to drive during the storm, especially Friday and Saturday, should avoid crossing flooded roadways, Seto said.

    “It is very difficult to tell how deep they are and even one foot of water can be enough to sweep a car away,” he said.

    Drivers should also take it slower than usual because months of accumulated oil on the roadways will bubble up, making the streets and freeways slippery.

    For those who live or plan to travel to the mountains in the coming days, extra precautions should be taken.

    “Chains are absolutely necessary,” Seto said. “Areas above 7,000 feet can expect up to 3 feet of snow."

    High winds and high surf advisories are also another reason to remain cautious.

    Another way to prepare: get ready relax.

    With all the potential dangers and commuting headaches, this week looks like a good time to stay indoors, lie on the couch, and catch up on that show you have been meaning to watch.

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