Before the Storm
Flood Issue Contact Numbers
In an emergency situation, call 911. For storm related maintenance issues including downed trees, blocked storm drain inlets or inquiries on our Sandbag Policy, please call:
During regular business hours 909 798-7655
Outside of business hours 909 798-7681
Empty sandbags are available for City residents and/or business owners. Up to 10 empty sandbags are available, per household or business location, at the four City of Redlands Fire Stations.
- Station 261 – 525 E. Citrus
- Station 262 – 1690 Garden
- Station 263 – 10 W. Pennsylvania
- Station 264 – 1270 W. Park Avenue
Sand and shovels are available at the City Corporate Yard at 1270 W Park Ave.
Flood Safety Preparation
In anticipation of any forecasted storm event with the potential for flooding issues, the City of Redlands activates emergency preparedness plans designed to perform pre-work and monitor known areas of concern as well as inventoried drainage channels. The following tips are intended to assist residents and businesses to protect lives and property.
General Checklist for Property Preparedness for Flooding
- Yard Clean-Up Make a general inspection of your entire yard area for dead trees or dead limbs, yard debris, outdoor furniture, or other objects that could be blown by storm winds. It is important not to over-trim trees as improper pruning actually leaves trees more vulnerable. Read more about proper tree care here.
- Drains and Gutters Make sure all drains and gutters are cleared of debris and functioning properly before the storm season. Storm water runoff from impermeable surfaces (e.g., roofs, driveways, and patios) should be directed into a collection system to avoid soil saturation.
- Roofs Inspect your roof, or hire a roofing contractor, to check for loose tiles, holes, or other signs of trouble.
- Retaining Walls Visually inspect all retaining wall drains, surface drains, culverts, ditches, etc. for obstructions or other signs of malfunction, before the storm season, and after every storm event.
- Slopes Visually inspect all sloped areas for signs of erosion, surface cracks, slumping etc. Also inspect patios, retaining walls, garden walls, etc. for signs of cracking or movement.
- Bare Ground Make sure your yard does not have large bare areas which could be sources for mud-flows during a storm event. The fall is a good time to put down mulch and establish many native plants; it may be possible to vegetate these bare areas before the storm season.
- Storm Drains Visually inspect nearby storm drains, before the storm season and after every rain; if the storm drain(s) or inlets are obstructed, clear the material from the drain. If said drain or channel is within City right-of-way, please notify the Facilities and Community Services Department at 909-798-7655.
- Follow-up and Other Concerns If, after taking prudent steps to prepare your property for winter storms, you still have some concerns about slope stability, flooding, mud-flows, etc., consider stockpiling sandbags and the use of plastic sheeting to further mitigate potential issues.
Before a Flood
Even if you’ve never experienced a flood, you ought to know what to do if flood waters threaten you, your family, and your community. The following tips from the National Flood Insurance Program are given as suggested guidelines. If you find yourself in a flood situation and do not know what to do, check with your local emergency managers.
Steps To Take Today
Make an itemized list of personal property, including furnishings, clothing, and valuables. Photographs of your home – inside and out – are helpful. These will assist your insurance adjuster in settling claims and will help prove uninsured losses, which are tax deductible.
- Learn the safest route from your home or place of business to high, safe ground if you should have to evacuate in a hurry.
- Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, food supply, and flashlights in working order, and keep extra batteries on hand.
- Buy flood insurance. You should contact your property/casualty agent or company about flood insurance, which is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program. Effective March 1, 1995, there is a 30-day waiting period (with two exceptions) for this policy to become effective, so don’t wait until a flood is coming to apply. Learn more at floodsmart.gov.
- Keep your insurance policies and a list of personal property in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box. Know the name, phone number, and location of the agent(s) who issued your policy
- Persons who live in frequently flooded areas should keep on hand materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber which can be used to protect property. The City of Redlands maintains a stock of sandbags for emergency purposes (please refer to the policy below for details). Residents and business owners can pick up unfilled sandbags (up to 10 empty sandbags per household or business location) from any Redlands Fire Station. Residents will have to fill the sandbags themselves. Residents are also urged to make necessary advance preparations if they are aware of the potential for flooding on their property.
Sandbags shall be given ONLY to residents or businesses* located within the City of Redlands. Sandbags shall only be for use at this location and not for locations outside of the City limits. Residents must provide identification and business owners or managers must provide information indicating their business is located within the City’s jurisdiction.
- Fill sand and shovels will be made available at the City of Redlands Corporate Yard located at 1270 W. Park Ave. whenever significant rainfall is predicted for the area. City of Redlands Corporate Yard is located at 1270 W. Park Ave. The Sandbag Fill station is just west of the Fuel Station driveway, abutting the sidewalk along Park Ave.
- Residents and business owners visiting the site are prohibited from blocking the drive access into the City Yard/Fuel Station area and double parking along Park Ave. Visitors should park along the existing curb line in an orderly fashion, being mindful of other users.
- Bags may also be purchased at most home improvement stores and filled at the City Corporate Yard.
- Bags are also available at the City’s Fire Stations. There is a limit of 10 sandbags to any one resident or business unless otherwise approved by the Director.
- City Staff will prioritize keeping the Sandbag Fill Station stocked throughout a storm event. However, depending on the severity of said storm, staff may be absorbed at an emergency site. In this instance, the refilling of the Sandbag Fill Station may be slightly delayed.
*Businesses excludes contractors
If you are a parent
- Know your local emergency phone numbers.
- Know the emergency plans for your children’s school.
- Prepare an evacuation plan for your family.
- Know ahead of time where emergency evacuation centers will be located.
- Keep a supply of sand bags handy. By filling them with either sand or soil, you can direct moving water away from your property.
- Make sure your children know their school’s and family’s emergency plans.
During a flood
Safety is the most important consideration. Since floodwaters can rise very rapidly, you should be prepared to evacuate before the water level reaches your property. Keep the following in mind:
- Have a Battery-powered radio tuned to a local station and follow emergency instructions.
- Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
- Stay away from all flood control facilities.
- Be extremely cautious when driving. Do not attempt to drive through moving water. Follow all emergency traffic instructions.
- If you are caught in your home by rising waters, move to the second floor and, if necessary, to the roof. Take warm clothing, a flashlight, and a portable radio with you. Then wait for help . . . don’t try to swim to safety. Rescue teams will be looking for you.
- If, and only if, time permits… there are several precautionary steps that can be taken:
- Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation is likely. Do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area and you are standing on a piece of dry wood while wearing rubber gloves and rubber-soled boots or shoes.
- Move valuable papers, furs, jewelry, clothing, and other contents to upper floors or higher elevations.
- Fill bathtubs, sinks, and jugs with clean water in case regular supplies are contaminated. You can sanitize these items by first rinsing with bleach.
- Board up windows or protect them with storm shutters.
- Bring outdoor possessions inside the house or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, tools, signs, and other movable objects that might be swept away or hurled about.
- When outside the house, remember…floods are unpredictable and not easy to gauge. Avoid flooded roads, and don’t attempt to walk through floodwaters.
If it is safe to evacuate by car, you should
consider the following:
- Stock the car with nonperishable foods (like canned goods), a plastic container of water, blankets, first aid kit, flashlights, dry clothing, and any special medication needed by your family.
- Keep the gas tank at least half full since gasoline pumps will not be working if the electricity is cut off.
- Do not drive where the water is over the roads. Parts of the road may already be washed out.
- If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it as soon as possible. Floodwaters can rise rapidly and sweep a car (and its occupants) away. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.
After a Flood
If your home, apartment, or business has suffered flood damage, it is recommended to reach out the agent or company who handles your flood insurance policy, or a local restoration company for an onsite evaluation from a professional. The following are general precaution to consider following and storm damage:
- Prior to entering a building, check for structural damage. Make sure it is not in danger of collapsing. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank. If you smell gas, call your utility company immediately.
- Upon entering the building, do not use an open flame as a source of light since gas may still be trapped inside – use a battery-operated flashlight.
- Watch for downed electrical wires. Make certain that the main power switch is turned off. Do not turn on any lights or appliances until an electrician has checked the system for short circuits.
- Cover broken windows and holes in the roof or walls to prevent further weather damage.
- Proceed with immediate clean-up measures to prevent any health hazards. Perishable items pose a health problem and should be listed and photographed before discarding. Throw out fresh food and medicines that have come in contact with flood waters.
- Water for drinking and food preparation should be used only if the public water system has been declared safe. In an emergency, water may be obtained by draining a hot water tank or melting ice cubes.
- Shovel out mud while it is still moist to give walls and floors a chance to dry.
- Flooded basements should be drained and cleaned carefully. Structural damage can occur if water is pumped out too quickly. Consult a restoration professional for assistance.
What does national flood insurance mean to you?
Until the late 1960s, flood insurance was practically unavailable to home and business owners. Therefore, Congress voted in 1968 to create the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This Federal program provides flood insurance at reasonable cost in exchange for the careful management of flood-prone areas by local communities.
Today, you can insure almost any enclosed building and its contents against flood loss, as long as your community is participating in the NFIP.
- Remember, most standard homeowner’s policies do not cover flood loss. For more details on flood insurance protection, call your agent or company.
- Make it your policy to protect your family against devastating flood losses.
- Learn more at floodsmart.gov
Landslides, mud and debris flows
Landslides occur in every state and U.S. territory. The Pacific Coastal Ranges have experienced severe landslide problems. Any area composed of very weak or fractured materials resting on a steep slope can and will likely experience landslides. Although the physical cause of many landslides can’t be removed, geologic investigations, good engineering practices, and effective enforcement of land-use management regulations can reduce landslide hazards. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists continue to produce landslide susceptibility maps for many areas in the United States. In every state, USGS scientists monitor stream flows, noting changes in sediment load carried by rivers and streams that may result from landslides. Hydrologists with expertise in debris and mud flows are studying these hazards in volcanic regions. (Information provided by USGS)
What is a landslide?
The term landslide includes a wide range of ground movement, such as rock falls, deep failure of slopes, and shallow debris flows. Although gravity acting on an over-steepened slope is the primary reason for a landslide, there are other contributing factors including the following:
- Erosion by rivers, glaciers, or ocean waves create over-steepened slopes
- Rock and soil slopes are weakened through saturation by snow-melt or heavy rains
- Earthquakes create stresses that make weak slopes fail
- Earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 and greater have been known to trigger landslides
- Volcanic eruptions produce loose ash deposits, heavy rain, and debris flows
- Excess weight from accumulation of rain or snow, stockpiling of rock or ore, from waste piles, or from man-made structures may stress weak slopes to failure and other structures Slope material that becomes saturated with water may develop a debris flow or mud flow. The resulting slurry of rock and mud may pick up trees, houses, and cars, thus blocking bridges and tributaries causing flooding along its path.
Landslides constitute a geologic hazard because they are widespread, occur in all 50 states and U.S. territories, and cause millions in damages and some fatalities each year. Landslides commonly occur in connection with other major natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires, and floods.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed the National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy – A Framework for Loss Reduction Report. This circular outlines key elements of comprehensive and effective national strategy for reducing losses from landslides nationwide and provides assessment of the status, needs, and associated costs of this strategy. The circular is submitted in compliance with a directive of Public Law 106-113.
A broad spectrum of expert opinion was sought in developing this strategy report, as requested by the U.S. Congress in House Report 106-222. The strategy was developed in response to the rising costs resulting from landslide hazards in the United States. The strategy gives the Federal Government a prominent role in efforts to reduce losses due to landslide hazards, in partnership with State and local governments.
The USGS has taken the lead in developing the strategy on behalf of the large multi sector, multi agency stakeholder group involved in landslide hazards mitigation. The USGS derives its leadership role in landslide hazard-related work from the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (Stafford Act). For example, the Director of the USGS has been delegated the responsibility to issue disaster warnings for an earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, or geologic catastrophe (1974 Disaster Relief Act 42 U.S.C. 5201 et seq).
The National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy includes developing new partnerships among government at all levels, academia, and the private sector and expanding landslide research, mapping, assessment, real-time monitoring, forecasting, information management and dissemination, mitigation tools, and emergency preparedness and response. Such a strategy uses new technologies advances, enlists the expertise associated with other related hazards such as floods, earthquakes and volcanic activity, and utilizes incentives for the adoption of loss reduction measures nationwide.