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November 12, 2008 > Prepare for winter weather

Prepare for winter weather

Submitted By Greg Renick

The Director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), Henry Renteria, urges Californians to prepare for upcoming winter weather.

"Even though wet weather hasn't arrived in many areas of the state, it's not too early to begin preparing for the possibility of flooding, erosion, mudflows and debris flows, particularly if you live in or near the burn areas from the recent fires," said Renteria,

The OES Director recommended that Californians make sure their emergency kit is well-stocked and includes:

At least a three-day supply of water for drinking, pets and personal hygiene
At least a three-day supply of foods your family likes
Battery-operated flashlights
Battery-operated radios
Extra batteries
First Aid kit
Warm clothing

Evacuate immediately, preferably to higher ground, if you hear these sounds or see these signs:
-crackling trees
-boulders knocking together
-other sounds that might indicate that debris or mudflow is occurring
-sudden increases and decreases in water flow
-changes in the clarity of the water in a stream or channel

"Our winter storm season is just beginning," noted Renteria. "Californians can reduce their risk of death, injury and property losses this winter by staying alert, planning and being prepared."

Additional OES tips include:
-Teaching children to avoid creeks, canyons, drainage control channels and washes at all times
-Identifying evacuation routes and a place to reunite if family members are separated
-Meeting with neighbors to discuss their plans and how you can help one another
-Contacting county flood control personnel and other experts to learn what actions you can take, including sandbagging, to protect your property from small mudflows
-Maintaining a full tank of gasoline
-Listening to the radio or watching TV for the latest weather forecasts and emergency instructions
-Cooperating fully with emergency officials

For more information and storm-preparedness tips, visit the OES Web page at

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