The Director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Mark Ghilarducci, has released the following statement about the statewide rain system expected later this week:
“This week California is expected to experience high winds and heavy rains in several parts of our state. For many of us, these rains are a welcome sign for agricultural and domestic water needs. We live in the arid West and this year has been historically dry. Any help that Mother Nature provides will alleviate extremely low water levels and is greatly needed.
We know that it can flood anywhere that we receive heavy rains. This storm will present a risk of flash flooding and debris slides in areas where ground conditions have not adapted to the saturation. This year was also a significant fire season for Northern and Southern California and burned areas are especially at risk for debris slides. Even regions that don’t experience regular seasonal flooding could see flash flooding during this intense storm system, which could be the largest to date of this year’s rainy season.
Before the rain comes to your area, educate yourself and be aware of the potential risk to the places where you live, work and play. I urge all Californians to take basic steps to increase their own ability to be resilient through these storms and their impacts. The public safety community will be very busy during these storms and it’s important to help reduce 9-1-1 call volumes by lowering your risks of danger as much as possible.”
During a disaster is not the time you want to be thinking about creating an emergency plan or creating a disaster kit. Individuals and families can follow these basic guidelines to increase their personal emergency preparedness before an emergency.
- Establish out of area emergency contacts.
- Create a simple, small emergency kit that can sustain you and possibly others for 72 hours following a disaster (click here for more information.).
- Stay away from rising waterways, such as creeks and rivers.
- Know how to evacuate quickly, should you experience rising water levels.
- Stay informed during hazardous weather conditions, listen to your local radio or TV stations for watches, warnings and the latest information bulletins.
- Flood Watch means it is possible that flooding will occur in a specified area. Be alert and prepared for a flood emergency.
- Flood Warning means flooding is occurring or is imminent in a specified area. Move to safe ground immediately.