By Patricia M. Thomas and Carl A. Williams, February 23, 2023
The storms that lashed California over the winter months have caused a trail of destruction, with wide-spread flooding and landslides, sinkholes in roads, and power outages to thousands of homes leaving many communities devastated.
So far this winter, cumulative precipitation across the state is well above the seasonal average for the past 70 years or so, according to data from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
While we are in the midst of a prolonged drought and so the much needed rain is welcome, there is still plenty of time for more destructive winter storms to push through before the drier months, bringing with them some safety challenges:
- Unexpected changes in conditions — watch for and report sagging or downed power lines, hillside slumping or landslides, leaning or fallen trees, flooding, power outages.
- Driving — slow down and watch for unexpected hazards, including potholes and road closures. Do not drive into flooded areas. Avoid driving by working from home, if possible.
- Walking — watch for traffic because of reduced visibility when walking in the rain. Wear non-skid shoes because surfaces may be slippery due to water or ice. Avoid going outside during lightning storms.
- Leaks and water intrusions in buildings — report hazards to your Building Manager. Use floor mats inside exterior doors.
- Stormwater control — keep waste hopper lids closed. Report backed-up drains to your Building Manager.
- Outdoor storage — equipment left outdoors can be damaged by water or wind. Cover securely or bring indoors as storms approach.
To report storm-related hazards, call the Security Operations Center at 510-486-6999 or your Building Manager.
UC Benefits plans offer some emergency resources for storm-related medical, legal, financial and insurance needs.