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Winter Storm Preparedness 

Winter storms can be a serious threat to the safety and health of a community. California has experienced a series of dangerous storms already in the 2022–2023 winter storm season. These storms have been the most challenging and impactful in the past few decades. Winter storms cause widespread flooding, mudslides and power outages in many California communities. Making sure Californians are informed and prepared for winter storms and knowledgeable about what to do before, during, and after storms is key to saving lives. 

Agencies across California are working together to get information, resources, and emergency services to Californians affected by the storms as quickly as possible.  

For additional information about winter storm preparedness and resources visit Emergency Preparedness Office Winter Storms Information and California Office of Emergency Services Winter Storms Resources. 

 

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Stay away from flooded areas and return home only when authorities say it is safe
Avoid flooded areas and do not drive unless it is an emergency
Flooding can cause mold, which can be a health risk. Wear a mask and heavy gloves when cleaning,
Be careful during cleanup; downed power lines may still have running electricity, which is a risk of electrocution

Suggested Messaging:

When returning to your home after a storm evacuation, taking precautions is important to keep you and your family safe. 
✋🏽 Wait to return home until authorities say it is safe  
🧤 Wear a mask and heavy gloves when cleaning up  
🐍 Be aware of snakes and other animals in your home  
😷 Be careful of mold, which can be a risk to health or an issue for individuals with asthma or respiratory issues  
🔌 Be aware of the risk of electrocution  
💦 Avoid floodwaters  
📱Follow your local health jurisdiction for updates 
For more information about flood recovery, visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/flood_recovery.aspx 

Suggested Twitter Messaging: 
When returning to your home after a storm evacuation, taking precautions is important to keep you and your family safe. It’s a good idea to follow your local health jurisdiction’s social media for updates. 
WinterStormPets

Suggested Messaging: 
If you evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind. Pets probably cannot survive on their own, or you may not be able to find them when you return.   
Learn more about preparing and protecting your pets during the winter storm by going to: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/Individuals-and-Families_Disaster-Planning-Tips-for-Pet-Owners.aspx 

Emergency Supply Kit

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With winter weather comes hazardous road conditions. Extreme weather can cause low visibility, slick roads, and slowdowns. It is best to stay off the roads during extreme weather, but if you need to drive, make sure you are prepared by packing an emergency kit, tire chains, and tow strap. 

To learn more about cold weather road hazards & emergency kit extras, go to: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/Cold-Weather-Road-Hazards.aspx 

For quick map travel alerts go to: https://quickmap.dot.ca.gov 

For current road, information go to: https://roads.dot.ca.gov 

Suggested Twitter Messaging:  

Hazardous road conditions arrive with winter weather, such as low visibility, slippery roads, & slowdowns. It's best to stay off the roads, but if you need to drive, be prepared with an emergency kit, tire chains, and a tow strap. For current road info: https://roads.dot.ca.gov 

Stuck or stranded?
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Winter weather can be a serious threat when traveling, so pack an emergency car kit with you this year. If you cannot get to your destination due to your vehicle being stranded or trapped, stay with it and wait for help. 

To learn more about cold weather road hazards & emergency kit extras, go to: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/Cold-Weather-Road-Hazards.aspx 

Suggested Twitter Messaging:  

If you're traveling during winter, make sure to pack an emergency car kit. If you get stranded or trapped, stay with your vehicle, and wait for help. For more information on cold weather road hazards and what to include in your emergency kit, visit https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/Cold-Weather-Road-Hazards.aspx. 

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Here are tips to stay safe after flooding, a landslide or a mudslide: 

  • If there is active flooding or a mudslide, please stay away from the affected area(s) until you are told it is ok to return 
  • Monitor news and local radio for updates 
  • Water from taps and hoses may be contaminated - drink only bottled water 
  • Stay away from broken electrical and utility wires or downed power lines  
  • If you smell gas, evacuate immediately and alert authorities  
  • Alert authorities if someone is trapped in the area 
  • Wear protective gloves when cleaning up debris  

Learn more about staying safe during and after a landslide or mudslide by visiting: https://cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/BI_Natural-Disasters_Landslides-and-Mudslides.aspx 

Suggested Twitter Messaging: 

Floods and mudslides can be dangerous, but there are steps you can do to reduce the harm. If you're prepared, you can stay safe and minimize damage.  

Learn how to get ready for a flood, and what to do during a flood watch or warning: 

https://cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/BI_Natural-Disasters_Landslides-and-Mudslides.aspx 

Food Safety After Storm

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Practice food safety when your power goes out by doing the following:  

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half full).  
  • If the power has been out for more than 4 hours, throw out refrigerated foods-including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk.  
  • Once power is restored, use appliance thermometers to keep the freezer at 0℉ or below and the refrigerator at 40℉ or below.  
  • Use dry ice or freeze containers of water and gel packs to help keep food cold if the power goes out.  
  • When it is doubt, throw it out.  

 Learn more about food safety during power outages at: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/facts.html 

Suggested Twitter Messaging: 

Practice food safety when your power goes out by keeping your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. If you're in doubt, throw it out.  

Learn more about food safety during power outages at: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/facts.html 

Floods

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Floods, big or small, can have devastating effects on your home and your family. You can take steps to reduce the harm caused by flooding by being prepared. Learn how to prepare for a flood and stay safe during a flood watch or warning: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/BI_Natural-Disasters_Floods.aspx

Prepare for winter storms
Prepare for winter storms
Prepare for winter storms
Prepare for winter storms

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Winter storms can be a serious threat to the safety and health of a community. There are many ways to prepare for winter storms that will help keep you and your family safe if a storm is on the horizon. For more information on preparing for winter storms: https://cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/Winter-Storms.aspx

Take action

Suggested Messaging: 

#BePrepared this winter by learning the difference between the various weather warnings, like watch, warning, outlook or advisory to keep you and your family safe. 
For quick map travel alerts go to: https://quickmap.dot.ca.gov 
For current road, information go to: https://roads.dot.ca.gov 

Carbon Monoxide
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Suggested Messaging:  

This time of year, people attempt to use cost-effective ways to heat their homes. Alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in a home, garage, or camper and poison people and animals inside. As a result, it's critical to understand how to stay warm during colder months and power outages.  

For more information on preparing for winter storms: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/.../EPO/Pages/Winter-Storms.aspx 


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