FEMA urges Californians to prepare for severe weather and possible flooding

January 31, 2024

FEMA monitors atmospheric river storms in California

FEMA is closely monitoring two atmospheric river storms heading towards the West Coast.

The agency is urging Californians to stay vigilant regarding the evolving forecast and adhere to local authorities’ instructions, including immediate evacuation if necessary.

With the potential for heavy rainfall in Southern California, FEMA warns of possible flooding and landslides.

The agency’s focus is on the current atmospheric river and preparing communities for the winter season, as more storms are expected.

FEMA emphasizes the importance of listening to state and local officials for storm warnings and road conditions.

Flooding, a major threat to life and property, can happen before, during, or after a storm.

To stay informed and prepared, FEMA advises everyone to visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov.

These resources offer information on emergency preparedness and protection during emergencies.

FEMA also provides tips on home heating, advice for older adults, and guidance for those who work or spend time outdoors during winter.

Key steps to prepare for flooding and winter conditions

Preparing for potential flooding involves several crucial steps.

FEMA advises signing up for weather alerts in your community and staying updated with the National Weather Service.

It’s important to be aware that flooding can abruptly disrupt transportation routes.

FEMA strongly discourages attempting to drive or walk through flood waters, as even a small amount can be dangerous.

Staying off roads during floods aids emergency workers in their response efforts.

Avoiding downed power lines and reporting them to utility companies is also vital for safety.

In preparation for winter conditions, FEMA recommends creating a Winter Emergency Kit with essential supplies like blankets, non-perishable food, water, and medications for both home and car.

Special attention should be given to the needs of older adults, including ensuring clear walkways and steps.

Simple measures like keeping window coverings open during the day to absorb sunlight and closing them at night can significantly reduce heating energy loss.

FEMA also suggests developing an emergency plan, staying informed about local weather forecasts, winterizing homes, and practicing safe driving in adverse weather conditions.

Effective measures to reduce heating costs and protect homes

To save on heating bills, FEMA advises closing the doors and vents of unused rooms and keeping the basement door closed.

Rolling towels at the bottom of doors can help keep drafts out.

Developing a comprehensive emergency plan is crucial, including establishing a clear communication plan with loved ones.

Before a winter storm or temperature drop, it’s essential to check on neighbors and friends, particularly older adults or those with unique needs, to assist them in their preparations.

Protecting your home involves insulating pipes, sealing drafts, and ensuring heating systems are in good working order.

Since home heating is a leading cause of home fires, especially during winter, proper maintenance of heating sources is critical to prevent damage and maintain a safe living environment.

In the event of necessary travel during adverse weather, driving cautiously is imperative.

Increasing the following distance on icy roads and keeping a winter emergency kit in the vehicle are key safety measures.

FSJA Comment

FEMA’s proactive approach towards preparing Californians for severe weather is a crucial step in disaster readiness and mitigation.

The emphasis on community awareness and individual preparedness highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in facing natural disasters.

The comprehensive guidelines provided by FEMA, including the steps for flood preparedness and winter safety measures, reflect a well-rounded strategy to combat the varied challenges posed by severe weather.

This preparedness is essential for minimizing potential damage and ensuring public safety during such unpredictable events.

FEMA’s guidance serves as a valuable resource for individuals and communities to navigate and withstand the impacts of severe weather conditions effectively.

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