Weather Safety

public safety message from our friends at Behavioral Health Services, Inc.

Wet winter weather is coming, but El Nino is already here!  In Los Angeles, the normal wet season happens between October and February.  The peak of our wet weather for this El Nino is expected to occur between December 2015 and February 2016.  After four years of drought and wildfires, much of the land across L.A. is incapable of absorbing large amounts of rain, increasing the potential for flooding and mudslides.


From flooding to mudslides, intense and frequent storms can wreak havoc on LA.  It’s important to be aware of the hazards in your area and know what to do before, curing, and after severe weather strikes.




  • If you see a flooded roadway, remember:  TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!
  • Flooding is the deadliest emergency in the US Annually.  Don’t be another statistic.
  • You risk your life and the lives of first responders when you try to beat mother nature.
  • It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock an adult off their feet.  1 foot of water can disable a vehicle, and 2 feet of water can float an SUV.
  • Do not touch downed power lines or electrical equipment, especially in the vicinity of flood waters.  Stay out of flooded areas, whether the water is moving or standing, as it can carry pollutants, toxins, and bacteria that will make you sick.




  • Mudslides and debris flows occur when heavy rains cause hillsides to come loose and rush downhill.  This torrent carries dirt, vegetation, and any other debris on the hillside with it.  Mudslides are life-threatening.
  • Areas at particular risk for mudslides are hillsides that have had recent brush fires or areas that are prone to landslides, even during dry weather.
  • Listen to any evacuation orders issued by public safety officials if your area is at risk for mudslides.




  • When weather and public safety officials issue weather alerts, it is for a good reason.  It’s important that you understand and act on any issued alerts.  You may be asked to shelter-in-place or evacuate.  You may be instructed to stay off the roads during a flood.
  • Follow instructions from weather and public safety officials – your life may depend on it.


Advisories are issued when conditions are likely to occur but will not be severe enough to prompt a warning.

Watches mean conditions are favorable for an event and usually cover a large area and time frame.  If a watch is issued for your area, pay attention to messages from the National Weather Service, as Watches may be upgraded to Warnings.

Warnings mean an event is already occurring or is likely to occur immediately.  Warnings are only issued for severe events that threaten life safety.


You can get weather warnings and other emergency alerts through the City of LA’s Notify LA program (



  • To report a blocked storm drain or catch basin, call Sanitation at 1-800-773-2489
  • To report a fallen tree, call the Bureau of Street Services at 1-800-996-2489
  • If you experience a power outage, call LADWP at 1-800-342-5397.  LADWP has technicians ready to assist 24/7

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