Southern California

Common-Sense Storm Safety Tips for when it Drizzles or Pours

When the storm comes a-knocking, don't get close to power lines or electrical wires

With yet another major storm headed to Southern California, here are some smart storm safety tips to keep you high and dry:

  • Make sure your drains, gutters and downspouts are working.
  • Keep buckets, mops, towels and tarps on hand to minimize leak damage.
  • Keep flashlights, charged cell phones, manual garage door operators on hand in case the power goes out.
  • Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit with food, water, medicine, flashlight, battery-powered radio, rain gear and first aid supplies.
  • Plan for the needs of pets at home and if you are evacuated.
  • Check your vehicle's wipers, tread wear, tire inflation, lights and fuel level.
  • Sandbags may be available at local fire stations or other locations.
  • "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!"
  • Don't go sight-seeing or play near storm drains and flood channels.
  • Don't drive through a flooded area or walk through flowing water.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Water conducts electricity.

For residents in areas prone to mudslides:

  • Closely monitor TV and and radio for updates about weather conditions and flooding;
  • Have an emergency plan that all family members know about and be prepared to leave at moment's notice. Important items include a radio and flashlight with new batteries and food and water supplies that can last for at least three days. Plan to take computers, mobile devices, medications, photo albums.
  • Stay away from flood control channels, catch basins, canyons and natural waterways. They can flood during heavy rain. If you find yourself stuck, look for high ground and wait for help;
  • If you are driving, do not try to cross over flooded areas, and don't think about entering moving water in a vehicle or on foot.
  • If you get trapped in your car by a flood, stay in your vehicle if possible, and if necessary, wait on top of the car until help arrives.
  • Do not try rescuing someone who has been swept into moving water by entering the water yourself. Call 911 and if you can, throw a rope or some other floatable device to the person.
  • LA County fire stations are providing sandbags and instructional materials. Visit a fire station near you.

Sources: Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department

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