Storm / Flooding

Severe weather can happen anytime, in any part of the country. Severe weather can include hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, including damaging winds, large hail, flooding, and flash flooding. Severe weather events can cause downed trees and power lines and flying debris, leading to power outages, transportation disruptions, damage to buildings and vehicles, and injury or death. Proper planning and understanding of the risks may help save your family from injury and inconvenience when severe weather strikes.

Understanding Severe Weather Alerts:

The National Weather Service issues a number of Watches, Warnings, and other products to alert the public about severe weather events. Be prepared for severe weather by educating yourself on the differences between Warnings, Watches, and Advisories how the warning process works.

  • High Wind Warning: Take Action! Sustained, strong winds with even stronger gusts are happening. Seek shelter. If you are driving, keep both hands on the wheels and slow down.
  • High Wind Watch: Be Prepared! Sustained, strong winds are possible. Secure loose outdoor items and adjust plans as necessary so you're not caught outside.
  • Wind Advisory: Take Action! Strong winds are occurring but are not so strong as to warrant a High Wind Warning. Objects that are outdoors should be secured and caution should be taken if driving.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Be Prepared! A Severe Thunderstorm Watch are issued when severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Winds 58 mph or higher and/or hail 1inch or larger are possible in a severe thunderstorm. Secure items outdoors that may blow around in high winds. Stay informed and be ready to take action.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Take Action! A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued when severe thunderstorms is happening or is imminent in the warning area. Severe thunderstorms have wind 58 mph or higher and/or hail 1 inch or larger. Seek shelter inside a sturdy building, away from windows.

Sand Bag

During the rainy season, you can pick up filled sandbags at the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Public Works Department at 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, 310-544-5252, Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You must be a City of Rancho Palos Verdes resident. There is a limit of 10 sandbags per home and residents are responsible for loading and transporting their own bags (on weekends there is a limited amount of filled sandbags available for pick near the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall located at the address above).

Staying Safe during Severe Weather:

During any severe storm, whether at home or work, you should take shelter as quickly as possible, the safest place to during high winds is indoors. Postpone outdoor activities if a severe weather advisory or warning has been issued.

  • Monitor Weather Conditions:Listen to the local news or NOAA Weather Radio to keep abreast of approaching storms, their severity, and reported severe weather. A NOAA Weather Radio will alert you if any watches or warnings are in effect or issued for your area.
    • If a WATCH is issued, pay special attention to changing weather conditions and be ready to take action if a WARNING is issued or severe weather strikes.

If Caught Outside or Driving:

  • Immediately go inside a sturdy building during a high wind warning or severe thunderstorm warning and move to an interior room or basement.
  • Listen to the local news or NOAA Weather Radio for updates.
  • Take shelter in your car if you are not near a sturdy building. If possible, drive to a nearby sturdy building. Otherwise, move your car to a location where it is less likely to be hit by falling trees or power lines.
  • If no shelter is available avoid trees, power lines, and the side of the road. Keep in mind that power lines that are laying on the ground may be live.
  • If you are driving and aren't near a sturdy building, hold the steering wheel with both hands and slow down.
  • Keep a distance from high profile vehicles such as trucks, buses and vehicles towing trailers. One strong gust of wind can be enough to flip one of these trailers onto its side.

Staying Safe after Severe Weather:

  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. Access to some parts of the community may be limited or roads may be blocked.
  • Do not go near downed power lines. Report downed lines to your local utility emergency center and to the police. Do not try to free lines or to remove debris yourself.
  • Help people who require special assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

In Case of a Flood

  • Tune to KNX 1070 AM or local TV channels for emergency advisories and instructions.
  • If water has entered a garage or basement, do not walk through it – it may contain hazardous materials.
  • Do not try to drive over a flooded road. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately. Attempting to move a stalled vehicle in flood conditions can be fatal.
  • If you are asked to leave your property, disconnect all electrical appliances.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you must walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Stay clear of water that is in contact with downed power lines.
  • Do not allow children to play around high water, storm drains or any flooded areas.
  • If you are asked to leave your property, shut off electric circuits. If advised by your local utility, shut off gas service as well.

Storm/Flooding Resources

Turn Around Don't Drown