Unless you are a native of Orange County, you probably laugh when you hear about emergency preparedness for heavy rain or flood-related events. To be honest, most of the rest of the country does too. However, southern California has a significant history of “wet disasters” including flooding/flash-flooding, mud slides, debris flows and landslides. Many of these past incidents have led to state and local proclamations as well as federally declared disasters.
On January 22nd Orange County experienced its largest rainstorm in seven years which flooded roads, triggered mudslides, inundated vehicles and caused dozens of traffic accidents. As a result of this storm (which was the third and most powerful of three consecutive storms) as well as others throughout the state, the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) proclaimed a State of Emergency. Emergency Proclamations not only increase the number and expediency of resources needed for a given response but they also serve as an appeal to the federal government to receive reimbursement for costs associated with damage and response efforts. Additionally, each of the 58 counties throughout the state can make a local proclamation of emergency and, if their costs exceed a threshold unique to each jurisdiction, they may become eligible for both federal and state reimbursement. The Orange County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation last Friday, February 3rd for the damage caused by the most recent storms.
As a result of Orange County’s Proclamation, coupled with the fact that this wet winter may continue for a few more months, it seemed timely to encourage our stakeholders to review some great preparedness tips provided by the American Red Cross @ http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/flood Here, you will find not only preparedness efforts to keep you and your loved ones (including pets) safe but also proactive measures you can take to protect your living spaces and businesses from unwanted water and debris.
Also, if you are interested in accessing FEMA “flood plain” maps they can be located on the OC Public Works website @ http://www.ocflood.com/nfc/floodplain/zone