El Niño Winter Preparedness

January 06, 2016

By , Chancellor's Undergraduate Intern 

While it is not predicted to end our drought, this winter's El Niño event may present some challenges to the members of our community. You can follow these simple before, during, and after tips to help protect yourself and your loved ones. 


  • Have a family, workplace, roommate, or classroom disaster plan to evacuate the area should it become necessary
  • Have an emergency preparedness kit containing first aid supplies, warm clothing, medication, drinking water, a flashlight, and rain gear. For a more exhaustive list of ideas for your kit, check out California's Department of Public Health's recommendations
  • Train in CPR/First Aid so if the need should arise you're prepared. For more information on getting this training, visit OPERS.
  • Know the location of the exits, fire exinguishers, and fire alarms in each room.
  • Establish an alternative way to contact people in case local communications are disrupted.
  • Register your cell phone with the county in order to receive regional emergency notifications. Smartphone users may also download the Code Red app to receive emergency updates. For more information on this, visit Santa Cruz Regional 9-1-1.
  • For more things to do to prepare for winter storms, print out and complete the checklist compiled by the county for this year's El Niño preparations. 


  • In case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Avoid downed powerlines and trees entangled with them.
  • Listen to local news alerts to stay up to date with the emergency progress and recovery operations.
  • For more information, read up on the County's Emergency Survival Guide.


  • Call the Santa Cruz 2-1-1 line which is open 24/7 for help finding services available to aid in recovery. 
  • Continue to stay up to date with the recovery operations by listening to local media outlets

For more information on general storm preparedness, visit our winter storm preparedness article from last year. Also, visit the County's page on El Niño preparedness for more information on this issue, with resources and information in both English and Spanish.