SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With storms heading towards California, the California Emergency Management Agency, "Cal EMA" is warning residents to prepare for bad weather coming.
According to Secretary Mark Ghilarducci of the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) he's urging today that Californians prepare for significant rainfall and high winds beginning tomorrow and lasting throughout the weekend.
"Even though California has a robust emergency response system and a significant number of resources, it's critical that the public take a personal interest in preparing for this storm, and the storms that will follow throughout the winter season" said Ghilarducci.
According to the National Weather Service, a major shift in weather pattern will bring wet and windy weather to Northern California with high rainfall rates, first on Wednesday and again on Friday.
Mud and debris flows are likely around burn scarred areas in Shasta, Butte and Plumas Counties, and local power outages are possible as a result of downed trees from gusting winds. Small stream flooding is also likely with weir overflow and runoff.
"Cal EMA staff and emergency managers throughout the state are actively monitoring the situation" said Ghilarducci. "The state stands ready to support local response efforts if needed".
Secretary Ghilarducci noted that between 1950 and 2009 flood-related emergencies resulted in more state of emergency proclamations for California counties than any other hazard and that between 1950 and 2007 flood-related emergencies caused more deaths than earthquakes and wildfires combined. During the latter period, flood-related events accounted for more than twice the amount of disaster-related costs administered by Cal EMA.
As part of winter weather preparations, Californians are encouraged to replenish or assemble an emergency supply kit, and review or develop a family emergency plan.
Emergency supply kits should include:
At least a three-day supply of food and water for each family member
First aid supplies and medicines, as well as cash
Battery operated radios and flashlights
Extra batteries and a manual can opener
Emergency plans should include:
The name and phone number of out-of-town contacts
Safe routes from your home or business to higher ground
A place to reunite if you and family members are separated
Considerations for family members with access and functional needs
If they haven't already done so, Californians who have developed their emergency plans and assembled or purchased emergency supply kits should take steps to winterize buildings which may be used as shelter. This includes insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather stripping doors, clearing rain gutters and trimming tree branches.
Ghilarducci recommended that Californians could obtain sandbags from their local Public Works department and that people with access and functional needs should make sure battery operated wheelchairs, breathing machines and other pieces of equipment are properly charged.
During the inclement weather, residents should listen to the radio or watch television to obtain information about the latest forecast and instructions from local officials, use telephones only for emergency calls, avoid driving if possible and cooperate with emergency officials.
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