2023 January Winter Storm Resources


Key Messages:

  • California remains in challenging period where multiple windy, rainy dangerous storms will make landfall over the next week
  • The state is taking early, proactive steps to keep Californians safe
  • Agencies across state and local government are surging all available resources in preparation for potential impacts and to support response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the storm.
  • Everyone in our state has a role to play by increasing their family and community preparedness and heeding direction from first responders.

California is still in the middle of a series of dangerous storms. These storms may be of the most challenging and impactful in the past few decades.

Consequently, if this storm materializes as anticipated we could see widespread flooding, mudslides and power outages in many communities.

Through this ongoing difficult weather, the state is working with local, federal and tribal partners to ensure vulnerable Californians have the support to stay safe. Cal OES is working to deliver resources and support to the most at-risk residents including providing housing and homelessness partners information on available resources and programs for people experiencing homelessness. This work includes:

  • Providing outreach and shelters for people experiencing homelessness
  • Encouraging providers to conduct proactive outreach
  • Furnishing necessary transportation where possible to shelters
  • Removing barriers for Californians to easily enter a shelter and keep their belongings

For more information of helpful tips and resources for vulnerable Californians, please visit the California Health and Human Services Emergency Resource Guide.

Preparedness Tips:

  • Go to CalAlerts.org to sign up to receive emergency alerts from your local officials.
  • 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
    • Cash
    • Medications
    • Food, water and clothing
    • Pet supplies
  • Be prepared for a potential power outage by gathering flashlights and charging devices early.
  • Have a full tank of gas or your car fully charged and carry an emergency pack that includes a blanket, water, and food.
  • If using a generator, keep it outside of your home.
  • Check in with family, friends and neighbors who might need help.

Before Floods, Mudslides and Debris Flows 

  • Pay attention to local emergency response messaging and heed evacuation notifications immediately.
  • Sign-up for local wireless emergency alerts sent by authorized government agencies.
  • Monitor incoming storms, especially if you live in burned areas or downstream/downslope of a burned area.
  • Make sure you have non-perishable emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit.
  • Have an evacuation plan in place for you and your pets.
  • Have a battery-powered AM/FM weather radio and a cell phone to listen for emergency updates and weather forecasts. Don’t forget extra batteries!
  • Talk to your insurance agent about purchasing flood insurance.

During Floods, Mudslides and Debris Flows   

  • Remember: local authorities may indicate it is safer for you and your family to shelter in place if flash flooding is not impacting your neighborhood.
  • Do not walk through moving water – just six inches of water can sweep an adult off his/her feet.
  • Do not attempt to drive through a flood, debris flow, or into flooded areas. It takes only a foot of water to float or sweep away most vehicles.

Power Outages
Take inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs if the power goes out such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.

Know Your Medical Needs

Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Know how long your medications can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.

Generator Safety
Portable back-up generators produce the poison gas carbon monoxide (CO). CO is an odorless, colorless gas that kills without warning. It claims the lives of hundreds of people every year and makes thousands more ill. Follow these steps to keep your family safe.

When using Portable Generators:

  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.

Food Storage
Have enough nonperishable food and water for every member of your household for three days. Open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary. Your refrigerator can keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer will maintain temperature for two days. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if temperatures reach 40 degrees or higher.