The Placer County Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the National Weather Service remind local residents and visitors that above-average rainfall is forecast throughout
this winter due to moderate El Niño weather conditions.
Storms fueled by this El Niño are expected to have the greatest effect during January, February and March 2007. Although increased precipitation is expected, the particularly strong, unruly storms as seen in recent winters are not forecast.
OES is offering tips to help county residents prepare for the wet winter months ahead. Before a storm, OES recommends storing important documents in a safe-deposit box, assessing insurance coverage needs and preparing emergency kits with essential supplies such as a first-aid kit, food, manual can opener, battery-operated radio, flashlights, batteries, and drinking water.
Also, keep your car fueled and know safe routes to higher ground. During the storm, OES recommends avoiding flood-prone areas, crossing flowing streams or driving over flooded roads. Travel should be avoided; however, if travel is necessary, dress warmly and inform others of your route. Stay tuned to local television and radio stations for news updates and instructions. If you are advised to leave your home, move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood waters.
After a storm, throw out all food (canned and otherwise) that has been in contact with flood waters, follow instructions about drinking water safety (it may need to be boiled or purified before drinking), avoid disaster areas, downed power lines and broken gas lines and immediately report any you come across. Do not turn gas back on, but instead rely on utility crews. Use flashlights, not lanterns or candles, to examine buildings; there may be gas leaks. Stay tuned to television and radio for instructions from local authorities.
To visit the OES website for additional information about emergency preparedness and what to do in the event of a disaster, please visit the Placer County OES website at http://www.placer.ca.gov/Emergency.aspx. The OES telephone number is (530) 886-5300.
Emergency preparation information is also available from the California Office of Emergency Services website at: http://www.oes.ca.gov/Operational/OESHome.nsf/1?OpenForm
Information from the Western Regional Headquarters of the National Weather Service is available at: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/.