Californians Face Wide Variety of Potential Flooding


DWR employees participate in flood fighting training

DWR’s Emergency Responder Flood Fight Training participants construct a temporary levee.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today urged Californians to be proactive and prepare for flooding as the winter storm season quickly approaches.


Federal, state and local officials gathered in Stockton as part of Flood Preparedness Week to share information on flood management efforts and educate Californians about increased flood risks due to climate change, wildfire burn scars and extreme weather events. Flooding can occur throughout the state and Californians need to be aware and understand the potential risks of flooding in their communities.

More than seven million Californians in rural communities, urban areas and along the coast are at risk of flooding. California experiences many types of flooding: alluvial fan, debris flow, river, coastal, tsunami, flash, and localized floods. Not every part of California experiences every type of flooding, but the results of each are the same – without proper preparedness, lives, homes, infrastructure and agriculture are at risk.

“Even with significant funding and proactive maintenance by federal, state and local flood management agencies, many regions in California face significant exposure to flood risk,” said Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth. “During California Flood Preparedness Week, agencies across the state work together to inform the public about the dangers of flooding, how to prepare their homes and families for a flood, and plan for recovery.”

Californians are reminded to “Be Flood Ready” by following these steps


  • Be aware of your risk – Know whether your home is downslope of a burn area. Pay attention to weather forecasts. Listen to local authorities.
  • Be prepared – Prepare an evacuation plan. Always have an emergency evacuation kit ready and be prepared to evacuate early. Have a plan for your pets, too. View tips on how to make an emergency plan from the American Red Cross.
  • Take action – Don’t wait to evacuate if flooding or a mud flow appears imminent. Don’t walk or drive through flood waters. Homeowners’ insurance does not cover damage due to flooding so consider purchasing flood insurance. For more information, visit FEMA’s website.

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