Culver City Observer -

Culver City Braces For El Nino


October 15, 2015

By Lynne Bronstein

Observer Reporter

The city has heard from experts about the drought affecting the Southland and now, with winter coming, the imminent rainfall is on people’s minds.

With weather experts predicting an El Nino condition for this rainy season Culver City is preparing measures for making sure residents and businesses are protected from flooding and other damages.

Culver City Fire Chief Dave White gave a presentation about El Nino preparation to the City Council on October 12.

“There has been a lot of media attention given to the condition known as El Nino,” said White. “It tends to run from late December to early March.”

This upcoming winter season’s rainfall is predicted to be “severe” according to White, and could “surpass the rainfalls of 1982 and 1987.” (The 1982-83 El Nino resulted in damage to part of the Santa Monica Pier).

The city has sent out a press release regarding preparations for El Nino and has also created a page on the city web site that outlines the city’s El Nino plan. White suggested that businesses should also enroll in the city’s communications systems including Nixle (which gives alerts on traffic and safety issues), and social media,

White noted that in late September the Emergency Preparedness Division conducted two five-hour training sessions for Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff members. The training included a review of EOC functions and practice scenarios involving flood disasters.

Prior to the rainy season the Fire Department will be conducting refresher training for swift water rescues. This will enable fire fighters to be able to extract victims from flood control channels during high water events.

The Fire Department is also working with the Public Works Department to make sure there is an adequate supply of sand and sandbags for the public to use available at Fire Station One.

Police Department staff members will participate in EOC activation drills and ICS training in conjunction with other city departments. The Police Department will also be using sandbags to minimize the intrusion of water into the police headquarters facility, reviewing options for storing and parking of emergency vehicles and procuring emergency rations and lodging accommodations for on-duty personnel.

While the city will be taking responsibility for clearing storm drains, Chief White had some suggestions on how residents can prepare for the strong rains and potential flooding.

Residents should inspect their yards for debris-objects that can be blown about by strong winds. They should make sure gutters are clear of debris. If they do not have gutters or storm drains, they should have them installed.

Roofs should be inspected for loose shingles and leaks.

Residents should also visually inspect walls and slopes or cracks or other malfunctions.

Trees should be trimmed.

Everyone should have a household or business emergency plan and prepare a disaster supply kit. In the case of lengthy storms that make it difficult or impossible to run errands, residents should have extra food, pet food, and medical supplies available. Those with pets should also make sure their pet’s I.D. tags are up to date.

Residents may want to register with Nixle and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) to receive up-to-date information on emergency situations. They should also contact their neighbors who are elderly in order to help them in times of difficulty.

When asked by the council about the needs of people who live on the hillsides near the city and the possibility of mud slides, White said that residents in those areas should check with professional landscapers for guidelines. “It would have to be on a case by case basis” he explained.

White also suggested that the guidelines for earthquake preparedness under the heading “ShakeOut 2015” on the city web site are useful to read for El Nino preparedness.

For more information about El Nino preparation go to


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