The winter season is just around the corner, and with it can come heavy rains and the potential for flooding. Despite the unpredictability of mother nature, you can prepare for a flooding emergency before it happens. October 21-28 is California Flood Preparedness Week, and the City of Sacramento is working to promote flood preparedness throughout the community.

Some of the key steps that you can take to prepare for flood include:

Practice your family communication plan.

During an emergency, you will want to check on the safety of your family and friends.  Develop a plan and practice how you will communicate with each other. Remember that sending texts is often faster than making a phone call. Keep important numbers written down in your wallet not just in your phone. Choose an out-of-town contact for all family members to call to check in or use social media. Discuss potential evacuation routes and decide where the members of your household will meet after a flood.

Store an emergency kit so you can grab it quickly if you need to evacuate; know in advance what else you will need to take.

Take time now to gather supplies for an emergency kit and make a list of the things you would need to take with you if you had to leave your home quickly.  Store the basic emergency supplies in a “Go Bag” or other container. Consider storing these items in sealable plastic bags or waterproof containers.

Remember to include specialized items for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs such as older adults, children, and those with Limited English Proficiency.  Consider FEMA’s Five Ps of Evacuation when making your list.

Register for emergency alert messages.

The Sacramento-Alert Emergency Notification System has been designed to notify community members of public safety emergencies and alerts. This system is capable of delivering notifications via telephone, text message and email. Since wireless services, such as cell phones, are not automatically registered, community members are able to self-register their cell phone, text message and email addresses for up to five separate locations.  To register please go to www.sacramento-alert.org.

Additional information on potential evacuation routes and the City’s flood risks can be found at www.cityofsacramento.org/floodready