Severe Storms Continue to Strike California; How to Prepare and What Resources Are Available to Residents
At this point, California is no stranger to large and damaging storms. The saga continues as much of the state will be affected by heavy rain in the coming days and throughout the month. On average, residents will see two – five inches of rainfall with some areas seeing over eight inches. These high-powered storms pose a threat to communities throughout the state.
By Philtrina Farquharson | Contributing Writer
At this point, California is no stranger to large and damaging storms. The saga continues as much of the state will be affected by heavy rain in the coming days and throughout the month.
On average, residents will see two – five inches of rainfall with some areas seeing over eight inches. These high-powered storms pose a threat to communities throughout the state.
Governor Newsom has activated the State Operations Center to coordinate mutual aid and bring state support to county-led emergency response efforts. Additionally, the governor has declared a state of emergency in 40 counties including Los Angeles. President Biden has also authorized federal assistance to support the storm response effort in California.
According to Corrin Buchanan, Deputy Secretary of the California Health and Human Services (CalHHS), 33 shelters are already available across the state, with 12 more to be available shortly”. Buchanan also stated that CalHHS is prioritizing the state’s most vulnerable populations, including unhoused people, the elderly, and those living in congregate settings. If you know of any elderly or disabled neighbors, check in with them to ensure their safety.
When disaster does strike and flooding arises, never drive around barricades, as local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas. Never drive into flooded areas, as a foot – or 12 inches – of water can float many vehicles. Finally, do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
How to Prepare:
Prepare for Loss of Power
Residents should keep any necessary equipment charged and conserve power when possible. There is also an opportunity to work with programs like Disability Disaster Access & Resources to secure backup batteries. Lastly, it may be best to connect with local friends, family, and care providers to assist during power outages.
Create a Plan to Evacuate
If told to evacuate, do so immediately, and know that personnel at emergency evacuation centers cannot ask for identification. Everyone is welcome at emergency evacuation centers. Also, make a list of friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, or others who can help you evacuate. Always follow the guidance of local authorities and learn different evacuation routes to leave your community.
Get Emergency ALERTS
Signing up for your community’s warning system is important, and you can learn more at CalAlerts.gov. Staying informed about the conditions around you will help you make better decisions about how to stay safe during severe storms and flooding.
CalHHS Emergency Resource Guide
This guide offers a Personal Emergency Plan for Vulnerable Individuals (English & Spanish), Prescription Drug Guide (English & Spanish), Mental Health Resources, and Social & Health care services. For more information, visit www.chhs.ca.gov/blog/2023/01/04/calhhs-emergency-resource-guide/
Connect with CalHOPE
Call the 1-833-317-HOPE (4673) warmline for direct support or visit calhope.org. The situation can be very stressful, but help is available.
California Department of Social Services
Shelters and warming centers can be accessed at www.cdss.ca.gov
Resources are available for Californians in need, and you can find up-to-date information at listoscalifornia.org/recovery. It is crucial for individuals to stay informed and prepared to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones amidst severe storms. While the state government and emergency responders are coordinating mutual aid and providing assistance, Californians should also take the necessary precautions.
Philtrina is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles writing about lifestyle and culture.
Philtrina holds a Bachelor’s degree in public relations/image management from St.John’s University and she’s written for Signature Bride, Miami New Times, LA News Observer, and The Miami Times.
In her free time she is probably running to an airport to catch a flight or practicing yoga.