SACRAMENTO - The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) is urging Californians to prepare for significant levels of rainfall and snow today and through the weekend. Experts anticipate record-breaking lows as a low-pressure system moves down the West Coast from Alaska. Snow showers are expected as low as 1,000 feet and overnight lows will range from the mid-20s to the lower 30s. Snow may hit areas of San Francisco, which hasn't happened since February 1976. During these inclement weather situations it's important to follow a preparedness plan and look after the more vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly and animals, both pets and livestock.
Here are five simple steps to vastly improve your preparedness level during severe weather:
1. Prepare your home and family with simple, effective measures. Have sufficient fuel for gas or wood burning stoves and other heat sources. Insulate your pipes with insulation or even newspaper.
2. Get an emergency supply kit. These can be customized with commonly available items at large retailers and supermarkets. These kits should include non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand crank radio, extra flashlights and charged batteries.
3. Remember the animals. Have a plan for your pets or livestock during an emergency or severe weather. Bring them inside or provide them with sturdy shelter. The ASPCA has a downloadable PetWeather iPhone and Android phone application for free here.
4. Be careful travelling in severe weather and high wind areas. Insure that your vehicle has adequate gas. Check your tire pressure before departing. Purchase all-weather radial tires for improved traction or consider winter tires for icy or snowy areas. Some areas will require tire chains or cables. The Department of Transportation has maps of areas where chains will be required on its website.
5. Stay tuned in. Listen for news alerts on your radio, television or smartphone. The National Weather Service provides regular updates on its website.
PetWeather Application: http://www.aspca.org/about-us/free-aspca-stuff/free-pet-weather-app
Department of Transportation Chain Area Maps and Traffic Cams: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist3/departments/mtce/controlmp.htm
NOAA's National Weather Service website: http://www.weather.gov/
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