Major winter storms involving high winds and heavy rain occasionally affect our area. Snow is possible as well. It is best to prepare in advance for these events. Some common suggestions:
- If you have a generator, be sure it starts before the storm arrives. Have adequate fuel on hand as well.
- Have enough non-perishable food and water on hand to go at least three days without assistance. A storm shouldn't affect us for that long, but we could be cut off in an earthquake, so be prepared.
- Clear your gutters and culverts before the rain arrives. Check for blockages during the storm too, and clear them as needed.
- Be sure your cell phone is fully charged. An alternate power source - a big battery to charge it with or a car charger - is also a good idea.
- Have things for the kids to do while they are stuck inside the house.
- Have flashlights (much safer than candles) a portable radio, and extra batteries for each available.
- If you have neighbors who are older or suffer from serious medical conditions, power failures and cold temperatures can cause major health issues. Check on them if you can, and call 911 or get them to a doctor or shelter if needed.
- While driving - even during the daytime - if your wipers are on, your headlights need to be on. It's the law: California Vehicle Code Section 24400 Headlamps on Motor Vehicles. Parking lights are not enough.
- Longer term, monitor the trees near your home. Any tree that can drop limbs on your house needs to be well trimmed (for both fire season and to avoid damage from falling limbs) and free of dead wood. Inspect them regularly for splitting, rot, etc. Remove damaged or diseased trees near your home quickly as they are a hazard in both winter storms and summer fires.
If you are properly prepared you will be able to relax and enjoy the storm, rather than worry about it.
During the storm, the following information sources have proven useful. At the moment the list favors Santa Cruz County, but links to useful resources on the Santa Clara County side are more than welcome. Send suggestions for any updates to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion.
- 95033talk yahoo group - neighbors sharing information about everything storm related. You have to join the group to see messages and post, but membership is free.
- LPVFR may create an online hazard map specifically for a major storm and log incidents on it. Each storm gets a new map. The map URL is emailed and tweeted out when it is created, usually with the first incident of a major event. Past storm maps: Dec 2014 Feb 2015
Information Via Twitter - this can go to your phone if your power is out or you are not in front of a computer
- @lomaprietafire - information about incidents from LPVFR
- @jrpstonecarver - information about incidents from Jeff Powell
- @calfireczu - information about incidents from Felton Cal Fire dispatch center
- @firedispachsc - information about incidents from Santa Cruz County's main dispatch center - Netcom. Doesn't cover the 95033 area all that much, but has info about incidents in town.
Power Outage & Status
Road & Traffic Information
- Santa Cruz County Specific
- Santa Clara County Specific
- 408-494-1382 - Santa Clara County road status hotline
Other Information and Services