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Preparation Measure for Residents
What to do before a Flood
- Trim trees and landscaping as needed to ensure that branches and limbs are clear of your structure, driveway and overhead power lines. Contact your power company, Southern California Edison, to trim trees that have grown over or around power lines on your property.
- Clean and inspect drains, downpours and gutters before the storm season. If buildings do not have gutters and drains, consider having them installed.
- Clean and inspect the sump pump and sewer ejector pumps, have spare batteries in case of a power outage (likely during storms).
- Clean and inspect the retaining walls drains, surface drains, and catch basins for obstructions.
- Inspect all sloped areas for signs of gullying, surface cracks, slumping etc. Also inspect the garden walls.
- Visually inspect the nearby storm drains, clear the obstructed materials from drain or call the City’s Public Works Department at (310) 318-0686.
- Inspect the roofs and chimney for possible leaks, loose tile and loose shingles.
- Be prepared to evacuate. Talk with your family about flooding. Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated and cannot return home. Choose an out-of-state contact for everyone to call to say they are Okay.
- Assemble a disaster supplies kit. Include a battery-operated radio, flashlights and extra batteries, first aid supplies, sleeping supplies and clothing. Keep a stock of food and extra drinking water. For more information, see Emergency Preparedness Checklist (PDF).
- Consult with your utility providers and learn how to shut off electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves (see instructions below). Know where gas pilots are located and how the heating system works.
- Consider purchasing flood insurance. Flood losses are not covered under homeowners' insurance policies. Flood insurance is available from the Nation Flood Insurance Program. Flood Insurance is available whether the building is in or out of the identified flood-prone area.
- Make a record of your personal property. Take photographs of or videotape your belongings and store them in a safe place.
- Keep insurance policies, deeds and property records in a safe place away from your home.
If, after taking practical steps to prepare your property for winter storms, you still have concerns about slope stability, flooding, mudflows, etc., consider stockpiling sandbags and plastic sheeting. The sandbags may be stacked to form a barrier to keep water from flooding low areas. Plastic sheeting may be placed on slopes and secured with sand bags to prevent water from eroding the soil. Below is an image of how to properly stack sandbags. To learn how to design a sandbag layout based on their specific application, visit: https://dpw.lacounty.gov/wmd
Sandbag Pickup Locations:
- The City Yard
545 North Gertruda Avenue (across the street from this address)
- Wilderness Park
1102 Camino Real
- Fire Station #2
2400 Grant Avenue
What to do during Heavy Rains
- If there is any possibility of a flood occurring, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Listen to your radio or television for information.
- Be aware of drainage channels and areas known to flood suddenly.
- Be prepared to evacuate. Secure your home. Move essential items to the upper floors of your house.
- Fill the bathtub with water in case water becomes contaminated or services cut off. Sterilize bathtubs first.
- Stay away from flood waters.
- Do not walk in moving waters. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you must walk in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, if you can do so safely. You and your vehicle can be quickly swept away as flood waters rise.
What to do after a Flood
- Stay away from flood waters. The water may be contaminated with gasoline, oil or raw sewage.
- Stay away from moving water. Moving water only from six inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the utility company.
- Consider your family's health and safety needs. Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with flood waters. Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters. Listen for news reports to learn whether the community's water supply is safe to drink.
- Contact your insurance agent. If your policy covers your situation, an adjuster will be assigned to visit your home. To prepare, take photos of or videotape your belongings and your home and keep detailed records of cleanup costs.
Utility Shut Off
Teach responsible members of your family how to turn off gas, water and electricity at main switch and valves.
Shut off gas only if you suspect a gas leak or can smell escaping gas. The main shut-off valve is located next to your meter on the inlet pipe. Use a wrench and give it a quarter turn in either direction so that it runs crosswise on the pipe. The line is not closed.
After the quake make a visual inspection for leaks in your plumbing system. If leaks are discovered, shut off the water at the house valve. If the house valve does not work, shut off the water at the meter (located in a concrete box in the sidewalk).
Know the location of your main service switch handle - to cut off main power supply-and your branch circuit panel.