Tips to stay safe in heavy rains, flooding

WITH hundreds of San Diegans already dealing with flood recovery and more rain predicted in the future, everyone is encouraged to follow important safety and preparedness tips to deal with rain and floods.

Here is a collection of handy tips from the County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and SDG&E to prepare for and respond to rain and flooding.

Protect your home and property

  • Get free sand and bags at county and various cities locations.

Stay safe during a flood

Here are tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

  • Evacuate immediately if told to evacuate or if you feel unsafe.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn around. Don’t drown!
  • Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there, signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.
  • Stay informed. Get local updates at, download the county emergency app to receive alerts, follow the county on social media and listen to local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

Flood tips from San Diego Gas & Electric

  • Do not touch any downed power lines or broken gas lines. Report them immediately to the police or fire department.
  • If evacuating, disconnect all electrical appliances; turn off electricity at the panel, gas service at the meter, and water at the main valve.

Before the rain, prepare for an emergency

From the County’s “Preparedness” webpage including comprehensive tips for flooding.

In general, to deal with most emergencies:

  • Family Disaster Plan: Create and/or review your own family disaster plan, (available in 12 languages).

Register your cell phones: for emergency alerts.

  • Download the SD Emergency mobile app: now with Earthquake Early Warning.
  • Make an Evacuation Go-Kit and a Shelter-in-Place Stay Kit.
  • Be prepared to evacuate with only minutes’ notice. Practice evacuating with your family.
  • Have a go-kit to keep necessary items handy if you had to evacuate. including food and medication.
  • Have contingency plans for different times of the day, such as an emergency while some family members are at work or school.
  • Check with schools or childcare providers to make sure you are aware of emergency plans and how you will be contacted.
  • Plan to reunite: In case you are separated during a disaster, discuss where to reunite because phone service may not be reliable during a disaster.
  • Pets: Your pets are part of your family too. Make sure they are microchipped and you have evacuation items for them as well – including crates for small pets. In addition, have evacuation plans for larger animals such as horses or livestock.

And finally, we also have tips to help you recover if your home or property is damaged by rains and floods… visit

Stay safe!

(Gig Conaughton/County of San Diego Communications Office) n

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