El Nino Preparedness Checklist


Worried about El Niño? Print out this basic checklist to help get ready for winter storms.

  •  Register your cell phone with AlertOC www.alertOC.org for emergency notifications.

  •   Check your roof for leaks, especially around flashing where many leaks occur.

  • Clear your gutters and downspouts.

  • Clear culverts and maintain proper drainage around your property. If you have changed to drought-tolerant landscaping, your drainage patterns may have changed.

  • Repaint the wood trim on your home. Paint is a barrier against water intrusion.

  • Check window glazing for leaks, and re-glaze if needed.

  • Check your property for proper grading and surfacing, including making sure water runs away from walls.

  • Have shovels, sandbags, plastic sheeting and other emergency equipment on hand. Store in a dry, accessible location.

  • Sandbags aren’t the only thing that diverts water.  Straw-waddle landscaping tubing and even bags of dirt can direct water away from structures. Make sure you have them on hand.

  • Check stressed trees by calling in an arborist if you have concerns. The drought has been hard on trees, and sudden rains are likely to fell more than a few. For trees in the right-of-way, contact the appropriate agency.

  • Secure yard furniture, especially items that might blow away and cause damage during a storm.

  • Scan important documents and put on a flash drive or in the cloud. Store the information or drive in a safe location.

  • Secure important family items, such as photographs, jewelry, mementos, etc.

  • Prepare a family disaster plan and family disaster kit. For more information go to www.readyoc.org.

  • Consider flood insurance, even if you‘re not in a high-risk area.

  • Assemble emergency supply kits for your home, workplace and vehicle.

  • Maintain fuel supplies in your car in case power outages result in a fuel supply problems.

  • If your property is prone to power outages, consider a small generator.

  • If you have below-ground areas such as basements or garages, consider a sump pump. If you 
         already have one, make sure it is working. 

  • If you use an automatic watering system, turn it off during the rainy season.

  • As we’re still in a drought, consider purchasing a rain barrel to catch water.

  • Make your house pest-proof if ants and other pests invade your home during rainy weather.

  • Check your car tires for wear.  Purchase new tires if needed.

  • Buy new windshield wipers if needed.

  • Make sure your automobile’s lights are working.

  • Make sure your vehicle’s brakes are in good, working order.

*List partly derived from L.A. Times, “28 Things to do to prepare for El Nino rains this season,” http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-el-nino-20151017-story.html.