raining-691715_640California has been suffering a severe drought and many are looking forward to the storm that’s on its way with the hopes that it will bring cooler weather and much needed moisture. The coming El Niño, however, is expected to hit the state very hard. With any storm comes the various risks associated with harsh weather, so we’ve gathered some tips to help prepare.

  • Check your car – Windshield wipers are going to be needed in this rain and you don’t want to be driving without the ability to see the road. Just as important is the condition of your tire tread. Driving on bald tires in wet weather is very unsafe for you and those around you.
  • Stay away from power lines – Strong winds and heavy precipitation can cause power lines to fall down. Never approach a downed line and be sure to keep everyone else away as well. Even if it looks like there’s no power coming through the line, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Call your local authorities to handle the situation.
  • Prepare a kit – Keep flashlights, batteries, first aid kits and emergency weather apps handy as you never know when you might need to use them. It’s always good to have extra cash on hand as well, in case the storm is severe enough that more supplies are needed and machines are down.
  • Watch and listen for flash floods – Keeping up with the news and weather reports will help you stay informed of impending floods. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Move to higher ground and use sandbags to protect your home.
  • Observe outside vegetation – If you notice any trees that look like they might fall over in strong weather or near power lines, request to have them trimmed. Trees can fall and cause damage to homes and vehicles and can become very dangerous if they’re caught in power lines.

El Niño is still underway and expected to continue, so making sure you have everything ready to go before it hits is your best bet for staying safe. The recent Southern California heatwave has left people guessing whether El Niño was going to make an appearance at all, but authorities advise it hasn’t gone anywhere and might be more powerful than ever. So stay safe, be prepared and hope that it brings us some much needed water.