Southern California will likely experience intense storms and heavy rains as El Niño comes this winter. It is important to begin measures in advance of the rainy season to allow ample time for planning.
To prepare you and your family for El Niño and other potential disasters, the City of Burbank, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and American Red Cross recommend the following actions:
Make a plan.
Talk with your family. Commit a weekend to update phone numbers, disaster supplies and review your plan with everyone.
Build a kit.
Your household should have a disaster supplies kit to ensure the comfort and safety of your entire family for 3 full days. Build a Disaster Supplies Kit to take with you in an evacuation. You may already have one assembled if you have an earthquake emergency kit for your home. The basics you should stock in your portable kit include: water, food, first aid supplies, a change of clothing and blanket or sleeping bag, emergency tools (like flashlights, radio, batteries), and special items for infants, elderly or disabled. Keep these items in an easy-to carry container-such as a covered trash container, a large backpack, or a duffle bag.
Get more information from the Red Cross on making a disaster kit.
Be informed/get trained.
Learn about the possible threats and how to protect yourself. Every family should have at least one person trained in First Aid and CPR.
As always, in case of an emergency, tune in for local response information to the following Burbank media:
TV: The Burbank Channel, Channel 6 on Charter Cable, Channel 99 on AT&T-UVerse, Channel 16 in Glendale, or stream it live online.
Radio: 1620, Burbank's radio station for local emergency information, on your AM dial. If the power is out, use a battery-operated radio or your car radio.
For a list of City of Burbank emergency information sources, click here.
Chemical or Airborne Hazards
When there is concern about a potential exposure to a chemical or other airborne hazard, local officials will advise you to "shelter-in-place." This is unrelated to taking shelter on the lowest level of your home in case of a natural disaster like a tornado. To shelter-in-place:
- Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
- Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems.
- Close the fireplace damper.
- Get your disaster supplies kit and make sure the radio is working.
- Go to an interior room without windows that is above ground level. In the case of a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air, and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed.
- Using duct tape, seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room.
- Listen to your radio or television for further instructions. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.
Here are some links to other websites offering information about emergency preparedness.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security -- Ready.gov
American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles -- Together We Prepare LA
Red Cross -- Homeland Security Advisory System Recommendations
California Office of Emergency Services
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Are You Ready? -- A Guide to Citizen Preparedness (FEMA)