Preparing for Extreme Weather in LA County

El Niño & La Niña Preparedness

When El Niño storms strike, it is important to make sure you are ready. Properly prepare for inclement weather, and you could prevent serious flooding or other situations that could damage or completely destroy your home or business. The Los Angeles County Fire Department and other local agencies take El Niño and La Niña preparedness very seriously.

The Fire Captain and Inspectors of the Public Information Office provide community presentations about El Niño and La Niña preparedness across Los Angeles County. These presentations stress the importance of being prepared, having a plan, and sharing resources that will keep all of our properties safe during the rainy season.

Weather Changes

Variations in Ocean Temperature Influence Weather Across the Planet. When ocean temperatures are warmer or cooler than average in one part of the world, this can influence weather across the planet. In Southern California, we experience this in complex weather patterns commonly known as El Niño and La Niña. These are actually the opposite phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, which occur due to fluctuations between the ocean and atmosphere in the Pacific Ocean near the equator.

When El Niño hits, we usually experience a lot of rain in the Los Angeles County area, and if we are not properly prepared, this can lead to flash flooding and other serious hazards. Our El Niño and La Niña preparedness programs can help avoid property damage and even save lives.

El Niño Safety Tips

A few simple steps could protect you, your family, and your property during the next El Niño season. If you’re outside, avoid flooded areas. Stay back from rushing water, which may rise suddenly during a flash flood. Don’t walk through flooded areas – even six inches of water could knock you off your feet. Do not let your children play near high water, storm drains, or arroyos.

If you live in an area that may experience flash flooding, make sure your property is up to code. Use flood-resistant materials when building or remodeling. Use sandbags or other flood prevention techniques before the rain hits. Check with your local fire department for more safety tips and information.