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What is El Niño and how can I prepare?


El Niño storms are estimated to be their strongest in years & agencies throughout LA are already preparing.  What you can do to make sure you are ready?

In an emergency… Follow us on Twitter: @dpwCARE @LAPublicWorks #LARain @CountyofLA @LACoFDPIO

Monitor radio & TV news closely for information about weather conditions, flooding in your area and safety precautions being advised. Have a battery operated or hand-crank radio & flashlight ready. Keep phones charged. Keep gas in your tank.

Be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation is ordered. Have alternate evacuation routes out of your neighborhood. Have a safe meet up spot for family.

Stay away from flood channels and flowing rivers. You could be knocked off your feet in as little as 6 inches of water.

Don’t try to cross flooded areas & never enter moving water. Turn around—don’t drown.

Floodwaters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories. If your home has been flooded, protect your family’s health by cleaning up right away. Throw out foods & medicines that may have been affected.

Stay away from steep slopes that may become unstable when saturated.

 Never touch a downed power line, which can cause serious injury or death. Call 9-1-1 to report it.

 Look for tilted trees, telephone poles, fences or walls, and for new holes or bare spots on hillsides.

 If trapped in your vehicle, stay with it. If possible, relocate to the hood if water continues to rise.

Be alert when driving. Roads may become blocked or closed due to hazards.

Report small problems as soon as they occur so they don’t turn into bigger problems

Get an Emergency Kit

LA Survival guide 100 pages

Why is this El Niño special?

This year’s El Niño is so strong that some are calling it "super" El Niño. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts that there is now over a 90% chance that this will be one of the strongest El Niños ever. Since 1950, there have been only 2 other El Niño winters of this magnitude, (1982-1983 and another in 1997-1998) According to CNN, the 1982-1983 El Niño caused more than $8 billion in damage worldwide. The 1997-1998 event caused flooding in the southeast, a severe ice storm in the northeast, $550 million in rain and flood damages in California and tornadoes in Florida. Overall, the last strong El Niño resulted in $35 billion in damage and 23,000 deaths worldwide.

What is El Niño?

El Niño occurs when ocean water temps in the central Pacific Ocean become warmer than normal. While this may not sound like a big deal, it can have profound impacts on weather patterns around the world & it can create very severe weather in the US. Some El Niños are strong and some are mild, but all El Niños influence global weather patterns. El Niños occur every 3-5 years but can happen as often as every two years or as rarely as every seven years. Each event usually lasts 9-12 months and peaks in January or February.

El Niño vs. the Drought

Believe it or not, all the rain we expect to see this winter won’t be a drought-buster. It’s important to continue to conserve water, especially when it’s raining. We just installed our 1st rain barrell and are waiting for a credit from the city towards our purchase. See here for details.

STAY AHEAD OF THE STORM – GET FREE EMERGENCY ALERTS FROM THE CITY OF LA via text, email or phone.  found on Mayor Garcetti’s website.  I am attending a CERT class this month if anyone wants to join me. Details here. 

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