With the arrival of seasonal rain, the Los Angeles Fire Department is encouraging local residents to take the precautions necessary to protect themselves from injury and their property from storm damage.

When rainstorms impact the Los Angeles area, flood control channels, rivers, and arroyos can quickly fill with fast-moving water, creating a potentially life-threatening danger to anyone who gets caught or swept away. It is against the law to be inside a flood control channel in Los Angeles, regardless of the weather.

We urge you to visit the EDIS website and listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for the latest weather or emergency information.


  • Ensure that all drains, gutters and downspouts are functioning properly.
  • Keep drainage areas (ditches, swales, small channels) free of debris.
  • Move valuable or easily damaged items away from low-lying areas that may be prone to flooding.
  • Identify and collect important documents that you may require in case of evacuation.
  • Contact your insurance agent to assure that your flood and storm coverage is adequate and in effect.
  • Prepare and keep at hand an emergency supply kit that includes food, water, medications, flashlight, battery-powered radio, rain gear and first aid supplies.
  • Plan for the needs of pets at home and if you are evacuated.
  • Keep your vehicle fueled in case power is cutoff to local fueling stations.
  • Identify the safe routes from your home or workplace to high ground.
  • Establish an out-of-state family contact so that friends and relatives can determine your location and status.
  • If necessary, consult an engineer or licensed contractor to design or build permanent water and debris control systems for your property.
  • Landscape slope areas with plants that are fire retardant and suitable for erosion control.
  • Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, hand tools and other materials handy for addressing stormwater issues.


In an effort to assist Los Angeles residents with extreme storm needs, the Los Angeles Fire Department is making empty sandbags available at every Neighborhood Fire Station in the City of Los Angeles.

To find the Los Angeles Fire Department station nearest you, call the City’s 3-1-1 Ambassadors at any hour. They will be pleased to direct you to the closest facility.


  • Avoid the urge to sightsee. Remind all household members not to play or linger near flood control channels and storm drains.
  • Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number-one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods.
  • Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their car than anywhere else. Do not drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number-two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical currents can travel through water.
  • Report downed power lines in the City of Los Angeles to the Department of Water and Power (800-DIAL-DWP) or emergency officials.


  • Avoid getting into this dangerous situation.
  • Remain calm. Don’t waste energy yelling for help after someone has spotted you.
  • Get ready to be rescued.
  • Try to float on your back with your legs straight and your feet pointed downstream.
  • Use your legs to shove yourself away from obstructions.
  • Keep your head up so that you can see where you are going.
  • Watch for obstacles and debris! If a tree or other stationary object is blocking the channel, forcing water over it; try to flip over on your stomach and approach the obstacle head-on, crawling over the top of it.
  • Most victims in swift water die when they get pinned against obstacles, or get trapped in submerged debris and vegetation.


Immediately call 9-1-1. Tell the 9-1-1 operator that someone fell into the channel and is being swept downstream. Say that swift water rescue teams need to respond. Give accurate information about where and when you saw the victim and what the victim was wearing.

Do not go into the water after the victim. Do not try to pull the victim out with your hands, rope, or similar device. Do not attach anything to yourself and toss it to a victim in the water. The force of the current will pull you in. If possible, throw a floatation device to the victim, such as a boogie board, styrofoam ice chest, basketball, or other unattached object.


City of Los Angeles residents should call 3-1-1 or (866)4-LACITY to report potholes, downed street trees, inoperative traffic signals, clogged street drains and any storm-related property damage requiring an inspection or action by City of Los Angeles officials.

Upper Mandeville Canyon Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 49845, Los Angeles, CA 90049.

© Upper Mandeville Canyon Association 2016

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