Timely Tips for the El Niño SeasonSubmitted by HearthStone | Private Wealth Management on January 6th, 2016
Timely Tips for the El Niño Season
Remember, use common sense. Never cross a flooded roadway, no matter how shallow it appears. If you see water, turn around.
As we’ve all been hearing for months, the “Godzilla” of El Niños is predicted to unleash its fury in 2016. Years of drought in California have made conditions ripe for flooding to occur if we get the kind of rains some are forecasting. Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters.
Although we hope that 2016 will begin to offset San Diego’s multi-year drought, we want all residents to stay safe and suffer as little damage as possible. Advance preparations can make a significant difference to those efforts. In an effort to help you and your family prepare, here are five simple but important steps to take before the rains come.
Step 1. Make sure you’re adequately covered. It’s important to know that most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover damage caused by flooding. Flood insurance can be quite affordable. But it cannot be purchased once a storm approaches. Many programs have a 30-day waiting period. Talk with your property insurance agent about flood insurance before the rain begins.
Step 2. Have a plan. Establishing an emergency plan for your family is another good idea. Include a process for communicating with family members both near and far. Seniors and people with disabilities may need additional assistance. So plan ahead. Make sure you have a plan for your pets as well. After all, they’re part of the family too.
Step 3. Clear the way. Clean rain gutters and sweep debris away from any storm drains near your home. If you think you’ll need sand bags, visit your local fire station to get the bags and then fill them with sand.
Step 4. Sign up. Register for emergency alerts on your cell phone and email. The system currently includes only landline phone numbers, unless you add your cell phone, VoIP phone number, and email address.
Step 5. Stock up. Make sure you keep adequate supplies of the most important items on hand. You’ll want to include potable drinking water and food. Don’t forget about your prescription medications. Also, make sure you have working flashlights and a battery operated radio in case power is lost in your area. And don’t forget the batteries!
Don’t let El Niño or Mother Nature dampen your family’s safety.
Be prepared! You can find more tips and resources at the following helpful sites:
Before it Rains
- Sign up for Alert San Diego notifications for all your telephone numbers.
- Create a family communication plan to stay in touch with loved ones.
- Prepare your pets for El Niño.
- If needed, visit your local fire station for free sand bags. The limit is 10 bags per resident, and sand is not provided.
- Report blocked storm drains by calling (619) 235-1000 or by submitting an online storm water service request with the City's Transportation & Storm Water Department.
- Prepare your home for an emergency.
- Visit the FEMA Flood Map Service Center to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risks.
- Prepare your small business for an emergency.
When Rains Arrive
- Leave early if your property is in a flood zone. Water levels can rise fast once storms start. Do not hesitate to move if you see rising water.
- Follow all instructions issued by public safety personnel.
- Report flooding to the City's emergency dispatch center at (619) 527-7500
- Drive carefully! Slow down and do not drive through standing water.
Important Online Resources to Keep You Prepared
- Ready San Diego A resource website for emergency preparedness in San Diego County.
- Ready (Federal) A federal campaign that educates and empowers Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, such as natural and man-made disasters.
- Flood Preparedness A California Department of Water Resources page to help residents prepare for El Niño.
- California Office of Emergency Services A State of California website that provides information on potential natural hazards that may exist in your area, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, and tsunamis.
Important Online Resources to Keep You Safe
- San Diego County Emergency Site Follow regional, emergency news updates from the County of San Diego.
- Emergency Notification System Register for Alert San Diego, a system that allows the City to notify residents, within an area, of an emergency.