SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The rainy season is here and Santa Cruz County officials are urging residents to prepare themselves and their homes.
After last years heavy rain and storm damage officials are taking all necessary steps to prevent more damage. Santa Cruz County spokesperson Jason Hoppin says, "one of the things that we're doing right now is we're focusing on getting the major road repairs done. I think we learned a good lesson last winter not to take winter lightly because prior to that we had several years of drought and it was a piece a cake for a lot of residents so take winter seriously."
Hoppin says one of the most important things residents can do is have an emergency plan. "How do you reconnect with your family if something catastrophic happens, having extra food, batteries, flashlights candles, prepare for power outages," says Hoppin.
Santa Cruz County resident Gerard Egan says his family has prepared for any emergency, "well we have a little earthquake rain and fire kid ready to go, a bunch of food and water and some warm clothes and that kind of stuff. Make sure the gutters are all cleaned out. And we also got a rain jacket for our dog."
Janice Bisgaard with Santa Cruz Public Works says the city is also offering free sandbags and sand for residents. You are allowed ten bags per home. The pick up locations for the empty bags are the Fire Administration Office on Walnut Avenue, Monday- Thursday 8am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, also The City of Santa Cruz Corporation Yard on River Street, Monday-Friday 8am-12pm and 1pm-4pm. The sand bunker is then located at Harvey West Park between the baseball fields. Shovels are not provided, and remember these bags do get heavy.
The County also encourages residents to download the Code Red app, which is free to use and sends out emergency alerts directly to your phone.
For more information on emergency and rain preparedness go to these websites:
For storm preparedness click here.
For Code Red App click here.
For County Road Closures click here.
For Emergency Services website click here.