Prepare for a storm - NOW!

While it is wonderful that California is seeing the rain that we need, it is so important to prepare ahead of time for the storms ahead of us. Wind, rain and potential flooding have all the trappings of life-threatening dangers. Let’s start the new year off with safety in mind. What can you do NOW to ensure you are so you are not left scrambling at the last minute? Here are a few tips:
1. Secure items that can blow around in strong winds. Patio furniture, umbrellas, garbage cans, decorations and the like can become projectiles. Properly store these items and make sure the wind does not pick them up.
2. Trim any tree branches that could possibly fall on top of your home.
3. Clean your rain gutters and drains to prevent blockages.
4. The use of sandbags can prevent or reduce flood water damage. For information on where to obtain bags, click here:
5. Schedule a roof inspection to fix any loose shingles before the storm.
6. Listen to radio/television or other media for local forecasts and alerts. 
7. Create an emergency plan with your family. Talk about where you would go if you needed to evacuate and how you will be in contact with each other if you are separated.
8. Prepare an emergency kit with items that you will need in case you lose power or need to leave home in a hurry.
9. Stop by the grocery store and stock up on non-perishable items. 
10. If you do lose power and do not have a generator, light your home with battery operated lanterns. 
11. Check in on elderly or vulnerable neighbors.
12. Pet owners, check to be sure pets are safe and secure – bring them indoors. 
13. Charge your phones and other electronic devices ahead of the storm.
14. Check to make sure your insurance policy is up to date and adequate.
15. If you must drive, please do so slowly and safely. 
16. Keep clear of downed power lines.
17. Do not drive in standing water.