Storm Season Safety: Staying Safe and Alert on the Road


This storm season, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) encourages all Californians to make sure they’re prepared to stay safe on the road.

Though it’s best to avoid being on the road during extreme weather, sometimes we may be caught off guard by a storm. Follow these best practices to stay safe while driving in inclement weather.

Never drive through flood water.
Avoid flood water, even if it looks shallow. It may be deeper than it looks and just two feet of water could sweep your vehicle away.

Beware of flash floods.
A flash flood warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or already occurring. If you’re driving when a flash flood warning is issued, you should move to higher ground immediately and avoid stopping near streams, rivers or creeks.

Look out for mudslides and debris flows.

  • Mudslides: a type of landslide that result from the failure of a slope, and often occurs due to the accumulation of water from prolonged rainfall and/or saturated subsurface conditions.
  • Debris Flows: described as a “sediment-dominated slurry,” debris flows are mostly made up of soil, resulting from short-duration, high-intensity rainfall events.
  • Take caution if you are driving near hillsides and burn scars from past wildfires. Do not attempt to drive through a mudslide or debris flow.

Treat non-working traffic signals at intersections as stop signs.
During storms, traffic signal lights may go out. If this happens, treat these signals as stop signs. Be sure the intersection is clear before moving.

Winter Weather Resources
Plan ahead and prepare now to keep yourself, your family and your community safe. You can find more winter weather preparedness tips below.