Are you ready for El Niño? Here's how to stay safe
Jan 04, 2016 | 12:01 AM
Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. Also, be sure the vehicle's headlights are on any time you have your windshield wipers on continuously; it's the law.
Reduce your speed and allow more time for your journey. The maximum posted speed limit may not apply under wet or icy road conditions.
If you encounter fog, slow down. Drive with your lights on low beam. Don't stop on a highway unless it's an emergency. And keep a close watch on your speed.
When traveling it's recommended you carry the following items: Tire chains and tighteners, flashlight and batteries, flares, small shovel, windshield scraper, waterproof clothing that's warm, blankets, snacks and drinking water. A cellphone with a backup power source might be the single most important safety item available.
HEAVY RAIN OR MUDSLIDES
Just 6 inches of rapidly moving floodwater can knock a person down.
It takes only 2 feet of water to float a large vehicle.
Floods can rise slowly or quickly, but most develop over a period of days.
Property damage from flooding adds up to more than $1 billion a year in the U.S.
Mudslides can easily exceed speeds of 10 miles per hour. How fast can you run?
Steep hillsides and canyons without vegetation provide prime opportunities for mudslides.
Locate your insurance policy and contact your insurance agent for any pertinent advice.
Develop a family preparedness plan in which you decide where to go if at home, school, work, outside or in a car when floodwaters rise.
Stock an emergency supplies kit, which should be checked and replenished every six months.
Bring in or secure any outdoor items that might cause damage or be lost in the event of high waters.
Before flooding, scrub bathtubs and sinks with bleach to remove bacteria, then fill them with water.
Move your valuable possessions to the highest areas of your house.
Be prepared to evacuate if requested to do so by the authorities.
Flash floods can turn a calm landscape into a raging river in a matter of minutes.
Most flash floods are caused by slow-moving thunderstorms, hurricanes or tropical storms, but also by dam or levee failures.
Flash floods can move boulders, rip out trees, knock down bridges and destroy buildings; now consider what they can do to you.
Walls of water, often filled with debris, can reach up to 20 feet.
If you receive a warning or are caught in a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
Sources: FEMA, City of Los Angeles, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Fire Department