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How to Stay Safe During the Storm

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In response, there are relief supplies and dozens of volunteers on stand-by

A storm is blowing in over the coast of California, causing heavy rain across the state. Northern California is already experiencing heavy rains, accompanied by flooding and power outages. The storm is expected to hit Los Angles late tonight, causing rainfall of up to 1” per hour. The rain will likely be much heavier than experience last week, which increasing the risk of flooding and landslides. 

In response, there are relief supplies and dozens of volunteers on stand-by including Shelter Staffing, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) leadership, Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) teams, Government Liaisons and Public Affairs Associates.

Updated Watches and Warnings:

Flash flood watch is in effect for the recent burn areas of Los Angeles and Venture County. If you live in or below recent burn areas such as the Colby, Springs and Powerhouse, take steps to protect your property. Remain alert and follow the instructions of emergency personnel. 

High Wind Warning is in effect through the foothills of Antelope Valley. 

A special weather statement for much of Southern California including Los Angeles and County and Antelope Valley warns of possible thunderstorms and wind gusts over 60mph.

High surf advisory and high rip current risk will be in effect through Saturday December 13. 

For the latest updates on the storm, follow us on Twitter @RedCrossLA and on Facebook @RedCrossLA

 

Here are some safety steps that will help keep you safe:

DRIVING SAFETY TIPS:

• Check the tires and wipers on your car to ensure they are functioning safely. Wiper blades can dry and crack in the summer heat, and tire treads wear down over time. 

• Have extra clothes and a, Emergency Kit in your trunk. Pack high-protein snacks, water, a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, a small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications, blankets and important documents or information you may need.

• Fill your car’s gas tank and clean your windows and lights to help you see.

• Avoid driving if possible.

• If you need to drive, make sure you are as safe as possible. Everyone should have their seat belts on and you should give your full attention to the road. Avoid any distractions, such as cell phones. 

• Check the weather forecast before you leave. Be aware of any disaster that may occur along your rout, such as flooding or mudslides. Make sure you let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

• Leave extra room when driving, don’t follow too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on wet roads. This is especially true of rain after a long dry spell. 

• Don’t use cruise control when driving in rain.

FLOODING SAFETY:

• Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

• When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

• Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

• If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

• Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

LANDSLIDE SAFETY:

• If you suspect imminent danger, evacuate immediately. Inform affected neighbors if you can, and contact your public works, fire or police department.

• Listen for unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.

• If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and notice whether the water changes from clear to muddy. Such changes may mean there is debris flow activity upstream so be prepared to move quickly.

• Be especially alert when driving— watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of possible debris flow.

• If you are ordered or decide to evacuate, take your animals with you.

• Consider a precautionary evacuation of large or numerous animals as soon as you are aware of impending danger.

DURING SEVERE STORMS:

• Stay alert and awake. Many deaths from landslides occur while people are sleeping.

• Listen to local news stations on a battery-powered radio for warnings of heavy rainfall.

• Consider leaving if it is safe to do so.