Lake Elsinore Unified School District

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How to Prepare for Debris Flow

Riverside County and City officials urge residents near Holy Fire burn areas to take the following steps. For more information visit RivCoReady.org/FloodReady.

BEFORE THE STORM

  1. Determine if your home, business, schools or necessary travel routes are in the at-risk areas by referring to the Holy burn area and risk maps at right.
  2. Learn the plan for your local school. Parents of school age children should contact their school district or visit their websites to learn what steps the district will take to ensure student safety. This may include school closures and evacuations.
  3. Know all your local access roads and understand that some may be blocked by debris or water. Have an alternate route. Stay informed or road and highway conditions by visiting the Riverside County Transportation Department's website at rctlma.org/trans and Caltrans' website at quickmap.dot.ca.gov.
  4. Learn about debris flows by reading these Frequently Asked Questions. Their dangers are different than the water and mud of typical storms. Click here for Spanish Frequently Asked Questions.
  5. Flood insurance: Most homeowners insurance does not cover floods or flows from natural disasters. Make sure your home is protected. Refer to the National Flood Insurance Program website at FEMA.gov/national-flood-insurance-program. Act now. Most flood insurance policies take up to 30 days to go into effect.
  6. Have an emergency plan and a disaster kit ready to go. For more information, click here.

AS THE STORM APPROACHES

  1. Follow all orders by public safety officials. Sign up for emergency alerts at RivCoReady.org/AlertRivCo.
  2. Leave before any flows begin, this the only safe time to leave. If debris flows, mud or water are already flowing, get higher than the flow, such as going to the highest floor in your home.
  3. Heed all evacuations. Evacuations Warnings (Voluntary) will be issued for at-risk areas 24-48 hours before an expected storm. As stated above, the safest time to leave is before any flow begins. Mandatory Evacuation Orders will be issued 6-12 hours before the storm.
  4. Monitor official weather reports and heed weather alerts. Understand that the weather where you are can be different than back in the mountains where the flows start.
  5. Never drive or walk into flood waters, mud or debris, and never go around barricades. It is impossible to know how deep the water or mud is just by looking at it and the depth can change quickly.
  6. Protect your property structures with sandbags and other methods to divert water from entering structures and reduce erosion on your property. Visit RVCFire.org to see a list of local fire station offering limited and unfilled sandbags and sand. Read the County's new Flood Guide for Homeowners to learn about protecting your home and property.
  7. In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1.

RELATED LINKS


What are the risks?

The Holy Fire has scarred hillsides and mountains above homes in Temescal Valley and Lake Elsinore. When soil is unable to hold water, especially after a fire, thunderstorms can cause loose rock, mud and debris to flow rapidly with potentially deadly force.

 

An evacuation doorhanger like the image below has been distributed to residents in high risk areas.