Winter storms are rolling through California – this means you must be prepared. The California Emergency Management Agency works tirelessly with local authorities to help in times of peril, but when followed, some simple tips on emergency preparedness could mean more than saving just your home and belongings.

It’s no secret that California’s winter storms can be extremely hazardous and deadly, with threats of flash floods, mudslides and high coastal surf (among others) rampant. Follow along with this list to ensure you are prepared for disaster:

When a flood WATCH is issued:

    • Move valuable household possessions to the upper floors of your home.
    • Fill your car’s gas tank in the event an evacuation order is issued.
  • When a flood WARNING is issued:
    • Tune in for information and advice to local radio and TV stations.
    • When told to evacuate, do so as quickly as possible.
  • When a flash flood WATCH is issued:
    • Watch for signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice.
  • When a flash flood WARNING is issued:
    • If you believe flash flooding has begun, evacuate immediately as you may have only seconds to escape.
    • Move to higher ground and away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades. These are placed to keep you out of harm’s way.
    • If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

Wherever you live or travel, you should be aware of the dangers of winter storms and be prepared to cope with one. For more information on the history of flooding in your area, and how you and your family can prepare for winter, call your city or county Office of Emergency Services (in the Government section of the telephone book), or the nearest office of the National Weather Service.

For more information of flooding and up-to-date weather news: