Storm Season Safety: During a Flood-Turn Around Don’t Drown. 


Don’t let the floodwaters sweep you away 

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) wants to help you remain safe while California is experiencing localized flooding this season. 

Since Sunday, February 4, 2024, Southern California has seen enormous amounts of rainfall, with local amounts of totaling between 7-14 inches. With higher amounts are especially concentrated in the mountains.   

As California communities continue to respond to rain and large amounts of flooding, Cal OES reminds every one of the danger flooding and mudslides can cause on your home and your community.  

Stay Informed: 

  • Listen to local authorities for updated information and road conditions. 
  • Check your local utility provider for updates on outages.  
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately.  
  • Never drive around or through barricades. Local first responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas. 
  • Do not walk or swim through flood waters. 
  • Stay off of or away from bridges over fast-moving water. This water can wash bridges away quickly and without warning. 

Grab your Go-Bag and Stay Box: 

When a disaster hits, you might not have time to gather necessary supplies. Pack a Go Bag now so it’s ready to grab in case of an emergency. That same Go bag can be used as your Stay Box in case you need to shelter in place. Here are some items to consider: 

  • Copies of identification and insurance cards 
  • Cash 
  • Contact list 
  • Local maps 
  • Medicine and important medical information 
  • Phone charger and backup battery 
  • Flashlight 
  • First aid kit  

When preparing for wetter weather, identifying important items in your home can help keep them protected.  

  • If you have time, bring outdoor furniture indoors. 
  • If important or semimetal items are too large to fit in your Go Bag or Stay Box, move them to higher ground. Either to the highest floor in your home or on top on shelves, bookcases, refrigerators, ect… 

Avoid Flood Waters 

Avoiding flood water is important because it can be dangerous not only for vehicles but for pedestrians as well.  

Did you know 12 inches, or one foot, is enough to float a vehicle, and as little as six inches of water can carry away a person. Flood water can be unpredictable and staying away from all flooded areas is the easiest way to keep safe. 

  • Standing water conceals numerous hazards including sink holes, toxins and sharp objects. Roads may have suffered structural damage.  
  • If it’s likely your home will flood, don’t wait for an evacuation order. Act early and consider emergency plans for you, your family and your pets.  
  • Still water can be deceptive too and can conceal strong, deep currents. 
  • Do not venture into disaster zones. Your presence may hinder rescue and emergency operations. 
  • Avoid contact with floodwater whenever possible. If dirty floodwater gets on or in your body, by mouth or by skin, it can give you diarrhea, rash, and serious infection. 
  • If water does contact your skin, wash the area with hot soapy water as soon as possible. Use hand sanitizer when clean water is not available. 
  • Wear rubber gloves and rubber boots if you must touch flood water. Prevent debris leaks with duct tape where tops of gloves and boots meet your clothes. Protect open cuts and wounds with waterproof bandages that seal on all four sides. 
  • If water gets in your mouth, eyes, or open cuts, flush the area with water and soap, if possible, ask a health care provider if you should get a tetanus shot to prevent serious infection. Seek medical care if you begin to feel ill or develop an infection. 

Keep kids safe 

  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater. 
  • Disinfect or throw away any toys, clothes, or household items that got wet by flood water.
  • Wash your children’s hands with soap and water often, especially before meals. 
  • Always wash your own hands after contact with floodwater or items touched by floodwater. 

Additional Resources: 

STORM SEASON SAFETY: Wet Weather Defense 

Storm Season Safety: Staying Safe and Alert on the Road 

Storm Season Safety: Coastal Flooding in Southern California