Oct. 19-26, 2019 is California Flood Preparedness Week. Recent wildfires have increased the potential for emergencies, which is why it is essential to be aware, be prepared, and take action.
Be aware: Learn about the hazards in your area by visiting the State’s MyHazard site (myhazards.caloes.ca.gov). During storm season, pay attention to weather forecasts and listen to local authorities. Residents should also sign up for Santa Barbara County’s Aware and Prepare alerts at www.readysbc.org.
Be prepared: Always have an emergency evacuation kit ready and remember to prioritize “The Five P’s” when preparing to leave your home; people and pets, papers (essential documents), prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, hearing aids), pictures, and your personal computer. Share flood preparedness information with friends, family, and neighbors. Residents should also prepare by keeping storm drains clear. If your property is prone to flooding, have sandbags, plastic sheeting, and other flood-fighting materials on hand. Sandbags can be useful in redirecting stormwater and debris flows away from your home. It is essential that sandbags are correctly filled and maintained. For information on where to find sandbag supplies, visit www.countyofsb.org/pwd/sandbag.sbc. Homeowners should also consider flood insurance. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Learn more at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program. A 30-day wait period is required before a flood insurance policy takes effect.
During a flooding event, it is crucial to take action. If you are asked to evacuate, please do so immediately. Make sure to learn how to turn off water, gas, and electricity to your home if it is flooded. Do not try to escape rising floodwater by going into the attic unless you have roof access or unless it is your only option.
For more information on California Flood Preparedness Week, visit water.ca.gov. For information on flood and emergency preparedness in Santa Barbara County, visit readysbc.org.