El Niño is predicted to bring heavy rainstorms and flooding to California. It’s important to plan ahead and be prepared. Follow these tips to help ensure that you and your loved ones are safe and comfortable when El Niño hits SoCal.
1. Preparedness Kit
Make sure your preparedness kit includes flashlights, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. Check out this preparedness kit checklist from our friends at the American Red Cross to make sure you have everything you'll need in your supply kit.
2. Emergency Apps
Make sure you and your phone are prepared for an emergency or an outage. Check out the emergency apps from American Red Cross to help you be prepared for an emergency or major disaster, such as floods or earthquakes. You should also download My SCE App on your iOS or Android device to make sure you have outage updates at your fingertips.
3. Inspect Your Car
Make sure your windshield wipers are working and check your tire tread. An easy way to test your tire tread is by doing this simple penny test.
4. Prepare Your Home
Clear your gutters and outdoor drains. Keeping your gutters clear can help eliminate the risk of water damage from having clogged gutters. If water flow is not possible, it can accumulate water in areas of your roof, basement, cause rusting and lead to an increased risk of decay, moisture and leaks. Now is a good time to clean the gutters around your home.
Also, be sure to use a sturdy ladder, be aware of your surroundings and stay at least 10 feet away from power lines. Sandbags can also be used to help protect your home and property before a storm.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also urged Californians to buy flood insurance or at least rate their flood risk by visiting FloodSmart.gov. The agency also reminds residents that there’s a 30-day waiting period between purchasing flood insurance and the time the insurance goes into effect.
5. Trees and Vegetation
Prepare now for stormy, winter weather. Submit a tree trimming request if you observe trees or other vegetation that are dead or dying and leaning into overhead power lines.
6. Watch for Downed Wires
Severe weather can cause power lines to fall. They can electrify puddles, wet grass and the surrounding area. Never approach a downed wire, or anyone or anything in contact with it. Stay away and call 911 immediately.
A downed wire doesn’t always spark or hum. Always assume a downed wire is energized. Coming into contact with electrical wires can cause serious injury or even death.
7. Use a Flashlight
Keep a flashlight handy because using candles during an emergency or outage poses a high fire risk.
8. Watch Traffic Signals
Watch for traffic signals that may be out and approach those intersections as four-way stops. Remember that if your windshield wipers are on, your headlights should be on as well.
9. Secure Trash and Debris
Make sure to secure trash and other items that have the potential of blowing or floating away.