Most predictions are indicating that this year’s El Niño is going to be the strongest in recent memory. The rain that it will funnel into the state will bring with it an increased chance of flooding, mudslides and other emergency situations.
University officials are reminding all members of the campus community that they can reduce their risk during such emergencies by staying prepared and informed.
“El Niño is coming. There’s nothing that can be done about that,” says Cal Poly Pomona Emergency Services Coordinator Debbi McFall. “What we do have control over is how we prepare and react. Knowledge is empowering in all things and this is especially true in emergency preparedness. It could make the difference between life and death.”
McFall and University Police recommend all members of the campus community keep the following in mind:
- Create an emergency kit following the examples provided at http://www.ready.gov/kit. Ideally, keep one in your car, your office and at home.
- Closely monitor radio and TV news during severe weather. If there is an impact to campus, news would be shared on PolyCentric, and emergency information would be provided through the university’s Safety Alert System.
- Be aware of which routes are passable and impassable in case of evacuation by checking the Caltrans Road Conditions site.
- Make sure you receive safety alerts from the university by checking that your contact information is correct and up to date.
- Program the University Police Department phone number, 909-869-3070, into your phone. Calling 9-1-1 from campus reaches the California Highway Patrol.
- Do not enter flood channels, such as the San Jose Creek that runs along South Campus Drive, or debris basins even during periods of low flow. Flash floods can arrive with little warning and as little as six inches of flowing water can present a hazard.
- Never try to cross flooded areas on foot or in a vehicle.
- Avoid low-lying areas that are subject to flooding. Head for high ground during heavy rain.
- Never approach a downed power line. The electricity can be conducted through water and across wet soil. If you see a downed power line on campus, immediately call university police at 909-869-3070.
- If you become trapped in your vehicle, stay with it. Climb onto the hood if water continues to rise.
- Follow Cal Poly Pomona and other relevant authorities on Twitter for updates on your phone. If there is an impact to campus, news would be shared on PolyCentric, and emergency information would be provided through the university’s Safety Alert System.
- El Nino resources now on this website: http://www.cpp.edu/~safety/emergency/el-nino.shtml
For more information, visit the following sites:
Campus Safety: http://www.cpp.edu/~safety/index.shtml
Road Closures www.dpw.lacounty.gov/roadclosures
Weather conditions www.wrb.noaa.gov/lox