PASADENA, Calif.? -- ?The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is joining state and local officials in encouraging preparations for winter storms that could cause flooding, mud and debris flow in California.
"Flooding can happen quickly," said Mike Hall, FEMA's federal coordinating officer overseeing the recovery from the recent Southern California wildfires. "Being prepared can save lives and property."
FEMA's Region IX Office in Oakland activated its Regional Response Coordinating Center at 8 a.m. Friday and sent a liaison to the State Operations Center at the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. ???
In Southern California, FEMA's Joint Field Office in Pasadena began operating around the clock, starting Friday, and sent a liaison to the state of California's Southern Emergency Regional Operation Center.
FEMA also has placed its logistical distribution center at Moffett Field on alert. If needed, supplies could be shipped quickly from Moffett in Santa Clara County to disaster areas. The supplies warehoused at Moffett include beds, cots, meals ready-to-eat (MREs), blankets, tarps, plastic sheeting and water.
While federal, state and local agencies are preparing for the storm, disaster officials encourage individuals and families to plan for emergencies.
Be prepared to tune in to radio and television broadcasts that provide vital emergency information. Have a battery-powered radio on hand in case of power outages.
Know the evacuation routes in your area. Listen to local officials and take action when they advise you to evacuate.??
- Find out what you can do to be safe, such as creating a family disaster plan.
Typically, severe storms can cause flooding throughout California. But this year, federal and state officials teamed up to deal with a new challenge ? the possibility of increased flooding, mud flow and debris flow near hillsides stripped of vegetation by wildfires.
Federal and state experts formed a Multi-Agency Support Group that studied the burned areas and issued reports and maps revealing the potential impact of the wildfires to people, animals, property and downstream resources. FEMA coordinated this coalition with the Governor's Office of Emergency Services and multiple state, local, federal, and county agencies.
These post-fire hazard maps have helped emergency managers and public works officials formulate erosion control projects, install alert and warning systems, plan evacuations and take other steps to protect the public.? Specifically, information on the maps and in the detailed reports has been used to develop county-wide reverse 911 call down listings, determine sites for siren evacuation alert installations and also supported federal and state agencies as they prioritize control efforts.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from? domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.