Rain, Rain Not Going Away? Red Cross LA is Prepared. Are You?
As rain and mudslides are predicted, Angelinos should follow these safety guidelines
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 23, 2021 — As Los Angeles is hit by more rainstorms, the American Red Cross urges Angelinos to take these precautions to stay safe from any possible flooding or mudslides.
If anything were to happen, the Red Cross stands ready to respond 24/7/365. Please visit PrepareSoCal.org for more preparedness information and follow our social media channels to get updated information on shelter openings and our services in the community -- @RedCrossLA.
Follow these steps to stay safe during winter rains:
Driving in the Rain
Wet pavement contributes to more than a million accidents per year and advanced preparations can keep LA drivers safe.
Make sure windshield wipers are in good working condition, and tire treads have the proper depth to provide good traction on wet roadways.
In a rainstorm, be sure to:
Turn on your headlights. Rain limits visibility, by turning on your headlights, other drivers are more likely to see your car.
Turn off your cruise control. When roadways are slick, cruise control impairs your ability to adjust speed quickly.
Slow down to avoid hydroplaning. At speeds as low as 35 miles per hour, tires can lose contact with the roadway during a rainstorm.
If you begin to skid, avoid hard braking or turns, which can also contribute to hydroplaning. Remain calm and continue looking and driving in the direction you would like the car to go.
Preparing Your Home for Rain
Have your roof and gutters inspected to ensure they’re in good condition before the rain falls. Clear leaves or debris from gutters throughout the year.
Check the inside of the house to be sure there are no signs of water leaks — mold, water rings or paint discoloration. Make all necessary repairs.
Check doors and windows to ensure they are sealed properly to keep rain out.
Prune dead branches from trees in your yard to avoid them falling on or around your house during a storm.
Mudslide Danger in Burn Zones
Heavily saturated ground is susceptible to mudflows, and often happens in areas burned by forest and brush fires. What to do if you live in an area at risk from mudslides:
Learn about local emergency response and evacuation plans.
Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a landslide occurs.
Create and practice an evacuation plan for your family and your business.
Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit.
Become familiar with the land around where you live and work so that you understand your risk in different situations.
Watch the patterns of storm water drainage on slopes near your home, especially where runoff water converges.
What to do if a mudslide is occurring or likely to occur?
Stay alert and awake. Many deaths from mudslides occur while people are sleeping.
Listen to local news stations on a battery-powered radio for warnings of heavy rainfall.
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.
Staying Safe During a Flash Flood
Emergency preparedness is the best way to keep you and your family safe.
Listen to or watch local weather stations during storms for possible flood warnings.
If there is a flood in your area, get to higher ground and stay there until it’s safe to return.
Steer clear of flood water. As little as six inches of moving water can sweep you off your feet. Keep children away from flood water, too.
If approaching a flooded road by car, turn around. Cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. If you cannot turn around and water is rising around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t usually cover flooding. Know the flood risk in your neighborhood and buy additional insurance, if necessary.
Assemble an emergency supply of food, water and other necessities. For a list of suggested supplies to have on hand during a flash flood, visit redcross.org/prepare.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/la or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA or @CruzRojaLA.