It's important to prepare for the potential severe rain storms caused by the El Niño.
When heavy rains are predicted, the City prepares by clearing storm drains, inspecting trees and infrastructure, and taking measure to reduce the risk of flooding. Emergency personnel are trained to respond quickly to storm dangers.
Preparing For El Niño - Homeowner Tips
The City asks residents to prepare their private property for heavy rains by reviewing the materials below and going through these checklist items.
- El Niño Preparation Brochure (2 MB)
- Preparing for El Niño - Ways You Can Help (233 KB)
- El Niño Community Meeting Presentation (2 MB)
General Checklist For Private Property:
- Yard Clean-up
Make a general inspection of your entire yard area for dead trees or dead limbs, yard debris, outdoor furniture, or other objects that could be blown by storm winds. An afternoon spent tidying up the yard and either storing furniture and other loose items indoors or securing them can prevent a frantic scramble to collect items that have landed on your roof or in your neighbors’ yards.
- Drains and Gutters
Make sure all drains and gutters are cleared of debris and functioning properly before the storm season. If buildings do not have gutters and drains, consider having them installed. Storm water runoff from impermeable surfaces (e.g., roofs, driveways, and patios) should be directed into a collection system to avoid soil saturation.
Inspect your roof, or hire a roofing contractor, to check for loose tiles, holes, or other signs of trouble.
- Retaining Walls
Visually inspect all retaining wall drains, surface drains, culverts, ditches, etc. for obstructions or other signs of malfunction, before the storm season, and after every storm event.
Visually inspect all sloped areas for signs of gullying, surface cracks, slumping etc. Also inspect patios, retaining walls, garden walls, etc. for signs of cracking or rotation. Such signs might be indications of slope movement and if you notice any problems, it would be prudent to have the site inspected by a geotechnical engineer.
- Bare Ground
Make sure your yard does not have large bare areas which could be sources for mudflows during a storm event. The fall is a good time to put down mulch and establish many native plants; it may be possible to vegetate these bare areas before the storm season.
- Storm Drains
Visually inspect nearby storm drains, before the storm season and after every rain; if the storm drains are obstructed, clear the material from the drain or notify the Department of Public Works or public agency responsible for drain maintenance.
- Follow-up and Other Concerns
If, after taking prudent steps to prepare your property for winter storms, you still have some concerns about slope stability, flooding, mudflows, etc., consider stockpiling sandbags and plastic sheeting. The sandbags can be stacked to form a barrier to keep water from flooding low areas. Plastic sheeting and visqueen can be placed on slopes and secured with sand bags to prevent water from eroding the soil.
Gravel (Sand) and Gravel Bin Locations
- Storm and Sandbag Information (229 KB)
Receive up-to-date local and state-wide emergency, weather, and critical news broadcasts:
Other Helpful Links
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- National Weather Service
- National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- FEMA Ready Campaign - Emergency Supply List
- U.S. Forest Service
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
- USGS Debris Flow Maps
State of California Resources:
- Department of Conservation
- California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)
- CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
County of Los Angeles Resources:
- County of LA -- Office of Emergency Management
- County of LA -- Department of Public Works
- County of LA -- Department of Public Works Coordinated Agency Recovery Effort (CARE)
- County of LA -- Fire Department
- County of LA -- Sheriff’s Department