STORM PREPARATION IS THE KEY
The City of Culver City works to ensure that we are ready to respond in the event of a severe winter storm. However, there are also important steps for residents and citizens to take at home and in the office. The important thing is to be prepared for a winter storm. Don't get caught off guard. Personal safety depends on emergency preparedness and quick response. The following is a checklist of things to do to plan for any potential winter storms.
- Clean out all gutters, v-ditches and drainage systems.
- Discuss evacuation procedures with family members.
- Decide on a point of contact should there be a separation of family members.
- Discuss an evacuation plan with your family and neighbors.
- Assemble a disaster supply evacuation kit for you and your pets. Include items such as radio, flashlight, food, water, first aid kit, and cash. Keep in an accessible location.
- Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber and other emergency building materials handy for waterproofing, particularly if you have experienced problems before or think you may have problems.
- Purchase or renew your flood insurance policy.
- Know how to turn off your utilities if officials tell you to do so or if you detect a gas leak.
- Learn more about the path of storm flows in your area.
- Regularly listen to weather forecasts and public service announcements during the storm season.
- Understand the pattern of events that could lead to a flood situation.
- Know your access routes and keep your car fueled.
- Know how to turn your lawn sprinklers off. Do not water your lawn during or after heavy rain.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING THE INTRUSION OF WATER INTO BUILDINGS
- Place sandbags or, preferably, more permanent barriers such as solid gates across subterranean driveway and other building entrances, window wells, vents and other openings to help prevent water from entering the building.
- Construct berms or otherwise raise the ground level in strategic locations to help divert “Sheet flow” away from building entrances.
- Lower the level of the water in swimming pools to help prevent them from overflowing into buildings or over slopes.
- Remove or build water-tight enclosures around electrical panels (or vaults) and gas meters in subterranean locations to prevent the threat of electrocution and explosion in case these areas fill with water.
- Remove heating and other mechanical equipment from subterranean locations; reinstall at least one foot above the surrounding ground level.
- Service (or install) sump pumps in subterranean parking structures and other below-grade locations designed to remove water from these locations.
- Engage the services of a licensed roofing contractor to thoroughly check and repair (or replace) worn roofing materials.
- Make sure that water from down spouts and paved surfaces drains away from slopes, preferably to public streets, preventing slopes from becoming saturated and creating mud slides.
- Cover the top of slopes with sheets of plastic to prevent water from entering and causing mud slides.
WINTER STORM EXPECTATIONS
Close attention should be made to the following situations, which can occur during severe storms:
- Sudden high and fast-moving water: Heavy rain and saturated soils can cause very sudden increases in the depth and velocity of run-off, without warning.
- Mud flows in the foothills: During heavy rains the ground can become so saturated that it can no longer absorb water, leading to water flows which strip off the top soil to create mud flows.
- Local flooding: Heavy rains can cause ponding of water in low lying areas. Streets and residences, including multi-residential buildings, can be affected by this standing water.
- Electrical outages: Storm conditions, including heavy rains, flooding, and strong winds can cause local power outages. Residents should be prepared to live without electricity for periods of time.
- Water contamination: Local flooding can affect the water distribution system. Residents should monitor the media for information on any problems with drinking water.
- Sewage system problems: Local flooding can have the potential to overwhelm sewage systems. Residents should be careful about wading in flooded areas.
IN THE EVENT OF A FLOOD
- Culver City AM 1690 is out of service.
- Secure the safety of your family first before your property.
- Know: A "Flood Watch" means: a flood is possible in your area. A "Flood Warning" means: a flood is occurring or will soon occur.
- Do not enter a flooded subterranean garage, building lobby or any part of a building that is below grade for any reason.
- Do not attempt to evacuate by automobile or swim through moving water. Drowning can easily occur in a flood situation. Even water as low as six inches deep may cause you to be swept away.
- Do not try to drive over a flooded road. You could be stranded and trapped.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.
- Electrical currents can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or to the City.
- Use the telephone ONLY for family emergency needs or to report dangerous conditions.
- Avoid unnecessary trips.
- Don’t sightsee in flooded areas.
- Report any blocked or clogged street catch basins to the City of Culver City Public Works Department at (310) 253-5635.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on how to prepare for winter storms or other emergencies, contact the Culver City Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management at (310) 253-5900.
Sandbags are available to residents (10 per household) at our headquarters fire station location at 9600 Culver Blvd. They are self-serve and can be found to the rear of the fire station. If you have additional questions concerning sandbags, feel free to call (310) 253-6810.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
- Immediate Emergency Assistance: For life-threatening situations, call 911.
- City of Culver City Office of Emergency Management (310) 253-5900
- City of Culver City Department of Public Works (310) 253-5635
- AT&T (800) 331-0500
- Verizon (800) 922-0204
- Southern California Gas (909) 307-7070