Are You Holy Flood Ready?
Due to the recent Holy Fire in the Cleveland National Forest, our mountains are now bare of vegetation and we are at risk of being in a debris flood zone. All residents in or near burn areas are reminded to be vigilant and prepared to evacuate if public safety officials determine evacuations are necessary. Flooding, mud flows and debris flows can happen at any time.
In general a typical storm over a post burn area will generate a estimated chance of flooding, that is 5 times higher than the same storm over the pre-burned basin. The resulting debris flow/flood will also be moving 10 times faster than just the flood generated on the pre-burn basin.
You can't out run a debris flow so it's important we prepare.
Find out more at www.RivCoReady.org/StormReady.
Safety Steps to Prepare:
- Be prepared to leave before roads, creeks and waterways are flowing. This is the safest time to leave before roads are closed. If waterways are already flowing, know where the closest higher ground is located and have a plan to get there. Also have an idea of what items you’re taking and document the items your leaving with photos and other identifying information for insurance purposes.
- Follow all orders by public safety officials. Sign up for emergency alerts. You can sign up online at RivCoReady.org/AlertRivCo or on your mobile device by downloading the app, Swift911 App.
- Monitor weather reports and consider your safety risk when a weather alert is issued. Evacuation warnings (VOLUNTARY) will be issued for high and extreme risk areas when the National Weather Service issues a Flash Flood Watch over the Holy Fire burn areas. As stated above, the safest time to leave is during an evacuation warning before roads, creeks and waterways are flowing. MANDATORY evacuation orders will be issued during Flash Flood Warnings and at that point you will not be able to get back to your home.
- Mandatory vs. Voluntary Evacuations - We cannot stress this enough, once Voluntary evacuation orders are issued, this is the time to get your disaster kit and start moving out of the area. Mandatory evacuations could come at any moment and it will be too late. Roads will be closed and you will not have time to grab your items after mandatory evacuations are ordered. Due to the nature of floods, it is impossible to stop them or shift them elsewhere and we must let them run their course.
- If it's too late to leave your home, move to the highest floor in the house - if the debris flow hits your house the house can take the hits from the debris. If you are in your car when the debris flow hits, stay in your car - the car will float long enough to hopefully carry you to the edge of the flow, and the car body can withstand the hits from the debris better than your body can - Do NOT get out of your car - the water will sweep you away and the debris will kill you.
- Know all your local access roads and understand that some may be blocked by debris. Have an alternate plan or route. Stay informed of road and highway conditions by visiting the Riverside County Transportation Department's website and Caltrans' website.
- Never drive or walk into flood waters or go around barricades. It is impossible to know how deep the water or mud is just by looking at it. There is also an abundance of bacteria and chemicals in the water from the drainage systems in our streets and other debris that has floated down.
- Protect your property structures with sandbags and other methods to divert water from entering structures and reduce erosion on your property. Limited and unfilled sandbags are available at your local fire station. Read the County's new Flood Guide for Homeowners to learn about options for protecting your home and property. It is a smart idea to gather sand bags earlier then later if you know rain is coming. The City does offer sand and bags to residents at the City Public Works Yard at 521 N. Langstaff.
- Flood Insurance: Most home owner’s insurance does not cover floods from natural disasters. Make sure your home is protected. Refer to the National Flood Insurance Program website. Act now. Most flood insurance policies take up to 30 days to go into effect. Flood Guide for Homeowners
- Have an emergency plan and a disaster kit ready to go. For more information, click here.
In case of emergency, dial 911.
- SoCal Debris Flow Survival Guide
- National Weather Service Debris Flow Fact Sheet
- Flood Guide for Homeowners
- Online: Alert RivCo Ready (https://www.rivcoready.org/AlertRivCo)
- Mobile Device: Download Swift 911 App to Receive Alert RivCo Messages
Where do I go for the latest updates regarding any concerns related to the Holy Fire areas and flooding or debris flows? Visit www.RivCoReady.org/StormReady. This is primary notification site regarding possible incidents and additional resources are being posted regularly including risk maps.
The City in partnership with several other resource agencies will host a special community meeting to discuss the risks, plans we have in place to protect the community, and what you can do to prepare and respond in the event of a potential rain event.
Date: Monday, November 5, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Terra Cotta Middle School in the Gym
Stay tuned for more information.
Unable to attend? We will live broadcast the event and will post a recording online following the meeting.