Winter Weather Preparedness During California Storms


With significant winter weather continuing to impact California, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) would like to remind Californians about steps they can take to be adequately prepared.

When winter weather impacts California, Cal OES leads the effort to ensure local governments have the resources they need to keep Californians safe.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of the state with parts of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties under a Blizzard Warning. Please ensure you and your loved ones are prepared for multiple rounds of rain, heavy snow, freezing temperatures and gusty winds. Due to multiple wind gusts, power outages are likely to occur.

To aid local government partners, Cal OES coordinates any necessary response and provides resources to communities such as generators, comfort kits, or other necessities to ensure that residents stay safe.

Winter Storm Preparedness Tips:

  • 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.
  • Go to to sign up to receive emergency alerts from your local officials.
  • If you must drive, download the Caltrans QuickMap app or visit to learn up-to-the minute road information on traffic, closures, chain control, and more.


Power Outage:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
  • Use a generator, but only outdoors and away from outdoors.
  • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

Power Outage Tips


Generator Safety:

  • Do not use generators indoors or in confined areas. Keep them outside away from buildings and anything flammable.
    • Place generators at least 20 feet away from your home
  • Check with neighbors and family to ensure they are aware of the risk of operating generators.
  • Before refueling generators, turn them off and let them cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • Never power the house wiring by plugging the generator into the wall outlet; instead use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to plug appliances into generators.
  • Do not use generators in rain or wet conditions.
  • Place a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Make sure your home has operating fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Generator Safety


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.

Food Safety in a Power Outage


Safety Steps for Any Disaster

  1. Get alerts to know what to do.
  1. Make a plan to protect your people.
  • Think about who you want to connect with during an emergency.
  • Write down their names and contact information.
  • Pick one person outside the area who won’t be affected by your local disaster.
  • You and your contacts can check in as safe with them.
  1. Pack a Go Bag with things you need.
  • Most disasters are unexpected and happen fast.
  • Pack up important items for each member of your household.
  1. Build a Stay Box for when you can’t leave.
  • In some cases, it may be safer to stay home.
  • Add items to a Stay Box to prepare for at least 3 days without electricity.
  • Pack water, food and trash bags.
  1. Help friends and neighbors get ready.
  • Think about who around you may be able to help during an emergency.
  • Discuss with them about each other’s needs to ensure everyone gets through the disaster safely.


Listos Disaster Ready Guide

Power Outage Tips

Generator Safety

Food Safety in a Power Outage