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Winter Storms

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Ballona Creek Watershed

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

Storm damage can occur very quickly, with little warning. Unlike an earthquake, however, many events occur which should alert people that potential storm damage may be imminent. During the storm season, persons should pay close attention to news reports and be prepared to take immediate action.  
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

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