The National Weather Service is warning that severe tropical weather could impact several parts of California starting this weekend. In advance of the storm, residents are urged to stay away from parks, deserts, waterways and off-roadways, and anticipate power outage and water shut offs.
With the possibility of lightning, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, high surf – and even wildfire – the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is also advising residents to stay alert, prepare early, and follow all safety guidelines.
Before a disaster or emergency, think about who you will need to connect with if you’re forced to evacuate or shelter in place. Make a contact list with names, numbers, home, and email addresses. Your list should include at least one person who doesn’t live in your area and won’t be impacted by your local disaster.
- Have a full tank of gas or your car fully charged and carry an emergency pack that includes a blanket, water, and food.
- If you must drive, download the Caltrans QuickMap app or visit QuickMap.dot.ca.gov to learn up-to-the minute road information on traffic, closures, chain control, and more.
- Have a go-bag ready in case you need to leave your home in a hurry.
- Important documents
- Food, water and clothing
- Pet supplies
- Gather flashlights and charge devices early if anticipating power outages.
- If using a generator, keep it outside of your home.
As Hilary approaches the California coast, there are several significant weather events residents should be aware of:
THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
If you find yourself outside during thunder and lightning, go indoors or find a safe, enclosed shelter. Avoid open spaces, stay away from tall structures and objects that conduct electricity; and get down from elevated areas.
Don’t shelter under an isolated tree and don’t use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
If you are in a group during a thunderstorm, separate to reduce the number of injuries if lightning strikes the ground and if you are in open water, come back to the shore immediately.
Flash floods can occur with no warning. Listen to TV or radio and monitor social media for weather updates and emergency instructions; get to higher ground; never walk or drive through flood waters; and make sure your emergency flood kit is stocked.
Sandbags are an effective way to prevent water from entering a building. They can be used to create a barrier or to divert water away from the building. Sandbags are also easy to find and can be filled with sand or soil, making them readily available in emergency situations.
Contact your city, county, fire department or public works to find out where you can get sandbags in your area.