El Niño Information

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 Get Prepared for El Niño!

This winter, weather forecasters have warned that a “strong” El Niño will bring heavy rains and fierce storms to Southern California.  According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the El Niño system has an 80 percent chance of lasting into early spring 2016. Information and resources to help you be better prepared to weather the storms is provided below.

Ad-Revamp-for-webWhat is El Niño?

  • El Niño is a weather pattern caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean across the equator region that occurs about every two to seven years, and is classified as weak, mild, or strong.
  • This year, El Niño has been classified as “strong”; and this warming has already been occurring since March 2015.
  • When strong El Niño conditions exist, there is a higher probability of more rain, with storms typically occurring from November through March.
  • Despite heavy rains, El Niño will not end the drought.It is important for all L.A. County residents to continue to save water.

What Residents Can Do to Prepare

  • Keep emergency supplies, such as a flashlight, water, food, a first-aid kit, portable radio and extra batteries on hand and easily accessible.
  • Know how to turn off your utilities.
  • Monitor weather forecasts to be aware of weather patterns that may impact the area.
  • Subscribe to receive emergency notifications via email or text message by signing up at https://www.lacounty.gov/emergency/alert-la.
  • Follow the City of West Hollywood on Twitter @wehocity or on Facebook www.facebook.com/wehocity for local updates.
  • Clear all private drains and rain gutters on your property and dispose of all trash and yard trimmings properly in order to avoid blocking drains.
  • If you have a rain barrel, make sure the downspouts are clear of debris and the connection is working.Remove the overflow drain cover.
  • Inspect your roof to check for loose tiles, holes, and other signs of potential trouble.
  • Visually inspect drains, ditches, etc. Do this after each rain, as well.
  • If you live on a hillside property, visually inspect all sloped areas for surface cracks, slumping, etc. Check patios and garden walls for signs of cracking.These may be indicators of slope movement, and it is recommended you have your property inspected by a geotechnical engineer if these signs are present.
  • Copy important documents and have a backup of the documentation on a CD, flash-drive, or with an online service, and/or keep hard copies in a safe deposit box.
  • Take photos of your possessions and store copies with your other important documents.

What Businesses Can Do to Prepare

  • Check your property. Clear drains, rain gutters and downspouts of debris.
  • If you have flood insurance, check your policy to ensure you have enough coverage.
  • Move computers, electronics and important documents from off the floor or areas that might flood. Also elevate mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Take photos of your business and store the pictures, along with important documents and computer data backups, outside of your business.
  • Keep an updated inventory of fixed assets, vehicles, minor equipment and office supplies, and start saving receipts when you purchase items so you’ll have proof of their original cost.
  • Have a business continuity plan in place to prevent lost revenues in the event of flooding.
  • Know how to turn off your utilities.
  • Know who to call if you need to board up your business (local hardware store or boarding company).
  • Monitor weather forecasts to be aware of weather patterns that may impact the area.
  • Subscribe to receive emergency notifications via email or text message by signing up at https://www.lacounty.gov/emergency/alert-la.
  • Follow the City of West Hollywood on Twitter @wehocity or on Facebook www.facebook.com/wehocity for local updates.

Additional Resources For Businesses:

Watch Our Recent El Niño Town Hall Meeting

 

What to Do During the Rain

  • Monitor local radio and television stations for emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not walk through a flooded area.Just six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • Keep away from flood control basins, channels and rivers.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area.A small vehicle can be carried away in as little as 12 inches of water.
  • Keep your distance from downed power lines and electrical wires.Report downed electrical lines to 911 immediately.
  • Avoid unnecessary trips during storms.

Tips for After the Storm

  • Check for structural damage around your home.
  • If you had flooding in your home, remove any wet carpets, furniture or linens immediately as mold can develop quickly.If you need to dispose of large items, please complete this form, or call (855) 557-1007 for information.
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to dry out the interiors.

Reporting Storm-Related Problems in West Hollywood

  • During business hours — (323) 848-6375
  • After Hours Emergencies — (310) 854-5266 
  • For more information about structural damage or potential hillside slope movement, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Building and Safety Division at (323) 848-6320.
  • Report gas leaks or damage to the Southern California Gas Company, (800) 427-2200
  • To report a power outage, call Southern California Edison, (800) 611-1911
  • Report downed power lines by calling 911. Do NOT approach a downed power line.

Links to Other Local Resources for El Niño information:

  • If you become aware of homeless members of the community who may require shelter or services during El Niño, please visit our Homeless/Shelter page for available resources.
  • The SCE (Southern California Edison) website offers fact sheets in English and Spanish, and an emergency app with access to real-time information that you can download onto your smart phone or tablet.
  • Also from Southern California Edison, Getting Ready for El Niño Storms
  • provides storm-related news and feature stories, tips on how to prepare for El Niño, tips on how to stay safe in the event of a power outage, tips on driving during a power outage, and more.
  • Gearing Up For El Niño provides information on what Southern California Edison is doing to prepare for the El Niño storms.
  • Information on what the Los Angeles County is doing to prepare, links to storm resources, and advice on preparing for an emergency.
  • Information on flood insurance, flood risk maps and information on protecting your home is available at the National Flood Insurance Program website.
  • The National Weather Service has provided information on how to prevent drowning in the event of a flood, and other general storm safety tips.