Safety Tips on How to Prepare for Storms

As more winter rainstorms are forecast for the Southland, you and your family can follow these nine steps to help keep you safe.
Skip to content
Stories : Safety
Stories : Safety

Safety Tips on How to Prepare for Storms

As more winter rainstorms are forecast for the Southland, you and your family can follow these nine steps to help keep you safe.
Photo Credit: Ernesto Sanchez

When there is heavy rainstorms and flooding, 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 storms hit Southern California.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

    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.
  4. Trees and Vegetation - Prepare now for stormy, winter weather. Submit a tree trimming request by calling 1-800-990-7788 if you observe trees or other vegetation that are dead or dying and leaning into overhead power lines.

    SCE will trim trees that are hanging from “pole to pole” free of charge, but the homeowner is responsible for trees that are between the pole and the house. If you wish to trim a tree growing around the power line that runs from the pole to your house, please contact us before you plan to trim — if you have any concerns, our crews may de-energize and safely move these pole-to-house power lines out of the way so that the work can be done safely.
  5. Emergency Apps - Make sure you and your phone are prepared for an emergency or an outage. Check out the emergency apps from the 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.
  6. 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.
  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.

Here are some additional winter storm safety tips:

  • Beware during flooding. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Never try to remove a broken tree limb or branch that has come in contact with a power line.
  • Make sure you have battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they’re fresh.
  • If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using heavy-duty extension cords. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
  • Don’t leave your space heater unattended and unplug it when not in use. Consider getting a space heater that has an automatic shut-off.

For more safety tips, visit: