El Niño Ready

PREPARE NOW FOR THE RAINY SEASON
Weather models are predicting our area will experience a very rainy winter. Although we may welcome rain after our region’s prolonged period of drought, it is more important than ever to prepare for potential flooding or landslide problems that may arise from heavy rains.

Heartland Fire & Rescue is in the process of developing preparedness, response, and recovery plans for La Mesa. As planning continues, we want to ensure that the residents are aware of what is being done by staff and where they can go to get questions answered relating to El Niño and our planning efforts. Take a moment now to review some of the things you can do to protect yourself and your family before, during, and after a downpour.

BEFORE THE RAIN:
• Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box
• Check your homeowner’s/renter’s and auto insurance for flood coverage
• Store supplies at work, in your home, and car in handy locations
• Keep your car fueled, if electric power is cut off, filing stations may not be able to operate
• Know safe routes from your home or office to high, safe ground
• Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber and other emergency building materials handy for waterproofing
When heavy rains are expected, bags and sand are made available for self-service filling at the Public Works Operation Center, 8152 Commercial Street.

DURING THE RAIN:
• Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
• Do not try to cross a flowing stream where water is above your knees, even water as low as 6 inches deep may cause you to be swept away by strong currents
• Do not try to drive over a flooded road, this may cause you to be both stranded and trapped
• Tune to local radio or television stations or Heartland Fire social media sites for emergency information and instructions from local authorities
• If advised by local authorities to leave your home, move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water

AFTER THE RAIN:
• When utilities have been shut off, DO NOT TURN GAS BACK ON YOURSELF, rely on utility crews
• Follow local instructions regarding the safety of drinking water; if in doubt, boil or purify water before drinking
• Avoid downed power lines and broken gas lines, report them immediately to SDG&E, police, or fire department
• Stay tuned to radio, television, and social media for information and instructions