Prepare for Winter Storms
As we all get ready for the holidays, we should also be preparing for El Niño.
Forecasters are predicting a severe El Niño season this year that could bring flooding, mud flows, higher tides, landslides, downed trees, and electrical power outages to our communities.
Our state's drought will not shield us from these impacts, and could make the effects of El Niño even worse. Hard-packed soil can contribute to flash flooding, and areas that have been decimated by wildfires may be more susceptible to mudslides.
Here are some reminders for protecting yourself and your home:
- Identify the risk in your area. Go to floodsmart.gov to find out if you live in a flood zone.
- Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family.
- Assemble a backpack of emergency supplies.
- Keep important documents and prescriptions handy.
- Stock up on fresh batteries for your flashlights.
- Prepare your children.
- Don't forget those with special needs, infants, and seniors, as well as your pets.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, find out from your local fire department where you can get sand bags.
Remember to purchase flood insurance. Standard homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage, and it is in your best interest to ensure that you are properly covered. In most cases, it can take 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to take care of this before the storms arrive.
Preparation and planning will help all of us as we face the possibility of significant winter storms. For more information, go to storms.ca.gov
Wishing you a happy holiday and a safe winter ahead.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Senator, 19th Senate District