Please use this section to get in touch with local, state, and federal agencies if your community is affected by a natural disaster:
Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)
24-hour disaster info hotline and referral to disaster assistance agencies – 800.621.3362
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)
Safety information and referral line – 916.845.8510
Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management
Information Line – 818.974.1120
California Department of Insurance
Information line – 800.927.4357
California Department of Transportation
Information line – 800.427.7623
Disaster Assistance Improvement Program
Check your local directory for the closest office’s phone number.
Follow these federal and state social media accounts to stay informed about natural disasters:
National Weather Service @NWS
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services @Cal_OES
California Highway Patrol @CHP_HQ
California Department of Water Resources @CA_DWR
National Weather Service Los Angeles @NWSLosAngeles
Before a Flood
- Create a plan to evacuate your home or work quickly and safely. Double-check your existing home insurance policy to ensure the property is covered for flood damage.
- Prepare an emergency kit with a first aid kit, food and drinking water, a battery operated radio, extra batteries, blankets, rain resistant or waterproof clothing, and flashlights.
- Stay notified of flood alerts and updates via the radio or social media.
- Prepare your home before a flood hits if possible. Secure important documents and personal belongings, use sandbags around the property or home if necessary, and be ready to evacuate in advance.
During a Flood
- Stay informed and monitor local radio and television (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates. Get to higher ground immediately.
- If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock your home as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.
- Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock an adult over. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help.
- Do not drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.
After a Flood
- Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions.
- Check with utility companies to find out when water, electricity, or gas services may be restored. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms, when areas are dealing with power outages.
- Avoid standing water; it could contain toxins, debris, or other dangers.
- Do not visit disaster areas! Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
- Road closures and other cautionary signs are put in place for your safety. Pay attention to them!
- Do not enter a flood damaged home or building until you’re given the all clear by authorities. Make sure the electrical system has been turned off, otherwise contact the power company or a qualified electrician.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss the damage done to your property. If you have a home generator, be sure to follow proper safety procedures for use. You can find generator safety information at: www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/co/generator.shtm
Receiving Financial Assistance
Disasters can result in a significant financial loss. However, when a disaster strikes, government agencies are quick to respond. Citizens are quickly notified where to find a nearby Disaster Application Center (DAC), where affected residents may apply for loans and grants. These centers are also ideal locations to receive information regarding housing, employment, business, and other types of relief. Referrals are also made to numerous volunteer agencies that provide food, medical assistance, and shelter. While DAC’s are an important resource, your family needs to know where to go for help. Depending on the type of disaster, you may need to contact local, state, or federal agencies to receive assistance with the following:
- Low-interest loans and cash grants
- Housing assistance
- Tax refunds
- Veteran’s benefits
Make sure that you keep detailed notes and a log of all phone calls and correspondence with relief and other agencies. Make a note of, and hold onto, your disaster identification number if one is assigned to you. Remember to keep all documentation that is given to you.
El Niño Information
For specific information on El Niño, please visit the following links:
www.floodsmart.gov - Offers information on specific floodplains in your area and flood insurance.
www.ready.gov - Offers best pracitices for disaster planning.
www.storms.ca.gov - Provides updates on weather conditions and how to prepare.