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How To Survive The Storm

  The first thing to do is to get ready.

 Do you have an escape plan?

 Is your home or apartment prepared?

 Is your vehicle prepared?

 Do you have insurance?


You should contact your property/casualty agent or company about flood insurance, which is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program. There is a 30-day waiting period (with two exceptions) for this policy to become effective, so don’t wait until a flood is coming to apply

Clean up Your Property

Tidy up your yard by either storing furniture and other loose items indoors, or securing them, to prevent a frantic scramble to collect items displaced by the storm.

Open Those Drains and Gutters

Make sure all drains and gutters are cleared of debris and functioning properly before the storm season. If buildings do not have gutters and drains, consider having them installed. Storm water runoff from impermeable surfaces (e.g., roofs, driveways, and patios) should be directed into a collection system to avoid soil saturation.

The Roof Over Your Head

Inspect your roof, or hire a roofing contractor, to check for loose tiles, holes, or other signs of damage. Make these repairs before the rain hits.

Retaining Walls

Visually inspect all retaining wall drains, surface drains, culverts, ditches, etc. for obstructions or other signs of malfunction, before the storm season, and after every storm event.


Visually inspect all sloped areas for signs of gullying, surface cracks, slumping etc. Also inspect patios, retaining walls, garden walls, etc. for signs of cracking or rotation. Such signs might be indications of slope movement and if you notice any problems, it would be prudent to have the site inspected by a geotechnical engineer.

Unprotected Bare Earth

Make sure your yard does not have large bare areas which could be sources for mudflows during a storm event. Fall is a good time to put down mulch and vegetate these bare areas with plants before the storm season.

Storm Drains

Visually inspect city maintained storm drains near your property before and after every rain. If they are obstructed, you can notify the Department of Public Works (by calling 311), or the public agency responsible for drain maintenance in your area, to clear out the storm drains.

Sand Bags

If you have inspected your property and are still concerned about slope stability, flooding, or mudflows, sandbags can be stacked to form a barrier to keep water from flooding low areas. Plastic sheeting and visqueen can be placed on slopes and secured with sand bags to prevent water from eroding the soil. The Los Angeles Fire Department offers free sand bags to anyone who asks. Several stations in the city also offer free sand.

Emergency Plan

Having an Emergency Plan is extremely important during flood season. Create an emergency plan with all of your family members so that you know what to do in case of a flood or power outage caused by winter storms. Your emergency plan should include an escape plan out of every room in your house. Know what key items you need to maintain in your HOME and in your VEHICLE in the event you need to evacuate.

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