California residents urged to prepare for incoming storms

By: Staff Report
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Placer County officials ask residents to be prepared
Placer County officials are urging residents to be prepared for a series of winter storms that will arrive later this week. 
Placer County Assistant Director of Emergency Services Rui Cunha emphasized residents should take steps each year to prepare for wet, windy winter weather.
“Storms sometimes bring heavy snow, major power outages, high winds, downed trees, localized stream flooding, back-country avalanches and other challenges,” he said in a press release. “The effects are tough to predict, so it is important that residents be ready for whatever happens. Preparedness and planning also bring peace of mind."
The National Weather Service expects wet, windy weather to begin Wednesday and last through the weekend. Heavy precipitation with prolonged high rainfall rates is expected to start Thursday.
The weather service has issued a flood watch that is scheduled to remain in effect from Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. The heaviest precipitation is expected north of Placer County over eastern Butte and western Plumas counties and in the mountains north of Redding.
In Placer County, rainfall accumulations are expected to be significant. Localized flooding is likely, including ponding on roadways, minor flooding in low-lying areas, clogged drains and backyard flooding. Major flooding is not anticipated in Placer County, but the potential exists for streams to overtop their banks and for roadways to be overtopped.
The Placer County Office of Emergency Services advises every household to have the ability to sustain itself for at least five days without services in case of an emergency. Every family needs a readiness plan, and should teach children what to do.

California Emergency Management Agency Secretary Mark Ghilarducci is urging residents to 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” Ghilarducci said in a press release Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service, a major shift in the weather pattern will bring wet and windy weather to Northern California with high rainfall rates, first on Wednesday and again on Friday.

Local power outages are possible as a result of downed trees from gusting winds and small stream flooding is also likely with dam overflow and runoff.

 “Cal EMA staff and emergency managers throughout the state are actively monitoring the situation” Ghilarducci said. “The state stands ready to support local response efforts if needed.”

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

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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