The Kern County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind county residents and visitors to Kern County of upcoming forecasts predicting heavy rain, which could potentially lead to flooding in some areas. Please review the following information:
Before a flood:
Assess the safety of your home and surroundings in case of a flood or mudslide.
Do you live near a creek, a steep hillside, or a burn scar area?
Do you have to drive over a creek or bridge to get to a main road?
Be sure to clean drains and rain gutters around your home before the rains arrive.
If there is a possible need for diversion of water around your home, plan to fill sandbags before the rains start. Home improvement stores should have sandbag supplies.
Consult with adjacent property owners on potential water diversion.
Create a communications plan with family, close friends, and neighbors.
Assemble an emergency kit.
Prepare an evacuation plan for pets, large animals, and livestock.
Consider flood insurance.
During a flood:
Do not attempt to cross rapidly flowing streams. Stay on one side until the water recedes. Most streams will recede within a couple of hours.
Keep an eye on drainages at home and in your driveways to maintain a safe situation. Be alert when driving. Check weather reports if you are traveling a long distance and be prepared to shelter in place should flooding occur. Food and water might be needed for all you are traveling with. It could be hours or possibly days before the rain subsides.
When driving, watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other hazards such as downed power lines.
When you see water across a roadway, there is no way to see whether the road under the water has been washed away. The water may be deeper and more powerful than you expect.
After a flood:
Assess damage. Check for slope movement, settling, and water damage.
Following a storm, drive slowly and carefully as roads may have mud, debris, holes, and washed out areas that have not yet been assessed.
Check with Cal Trans and Kern County Roads for road closures.
Mudslides can occur after the rain has stopped.
Check for contaminated wells.
Check for sewage spills and mold.
Check on neighbors.
For further information, go to http://www.kerncountyfire.org/education/emergency-preparedness/el-nino-information.html