El Nino


Weather forecasters and scientists are predicting that the upcoming El Niño conditions could bring significant heavy rains and severe storm conditions that will impact Southern California with flooding, mud slides, wind damage and related emergency conditions such as power outages. The City of Pasadena is actively preparing to meet the challenges of El Niño, and City public safety officials urge all residents and businesses to do this same.

In general, whether for an El Niño event, major earthquake or other emergency, all residents and businesses should have enough food, water and other emergency supplies to last them from three days to a week, or longer, in response to a widespread disaster.  The next major storm, earthquake or human-caused emergency will happen. It is not a matter of “if” but “when” that disaster will occur.  All members of your family, including pets, need to be prepared at home, in the car, and at work. 


  • Put together emergency supplies for your home, work and car.
  • Have enough supplies for every member of your household, including pets, to last up to one week.
  • Emergency supplies should include non-perishable food; water; medicine, first aid and personal hygiene products; flashlights; battery-operated radio; extra batteries and solar chargers for electronic devices; clothing and gloves.
    You need about one gallon of water per person, per day.
  • Your pets need a collar, leash, ID and carrying devices for transport or co-location at an emergency shelter. Consider microchipping your pets.
  • Smaller individual kits should be created for work and your car.
  • Make copies of critical documents such as insurance, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, birth and marriage certificates.
  • Consider keeping a small amount of cash in small bills with your supplies as automated teller machines (ATMs) or banks may not be open.
  • Build up you supplies with additional food and water, games or books for children, tools, emergency shelter materials. 


Free sand and sandbags for Pasadena residents are available now at Pasadena Fire Station 37, 3430 E. Foothill Blvd. and Fire Station 38, 1150 Linda Vista Ave. Sand and sandbags for residential use only. Be prepared to show ID. You can fill and take up to 10 bags per trip. Please be careful where you park when you come to get your sand and sand bags. 

The City is in the process of identifying other locations throughout Pasadena where additional sand and sand bags will be made available should they be needed.  Check back on this page for additional information about sand and sand bags. 

 El Nino 2015 Brochure
 PIF October 2015 
 El Nino Citywide PowerPoint  


Here are some helpful tips to get you started to prepare for El Niño:  

  • Homeowners Insurance -- Make sure it is updated and you have flood insurance if required.  Consider buying flood insurance now, even if not required. 
  • Yard Clean-Up -- Inspect your entire yard area for dead trees or dead limbs, yard debris, outdoor furniture, or other objects that could be blown by storm winds. Do not over-trim trees as improper pruning actually leaves trees more vulnerable. Do not trim trees on a ladder without a spotter; consider hiring a professional. 
    The removal and clearing of trees that are not in the public right of way is the responsibility of private property owners. Anyone who suffers damage to vehicles, homes and other property caused by fallen trees or tree limbs should contact their private insurers for proper handling of claims. 
  • Drains and Gutters -- Make sure all drains and gutters are cleared of debris and functioning properly before the storm season. If possible, storm water runoff from roofs, driveways and patios should be directed into a collection system to avoid soil saturation.  Do not clear out rain gutters on a ladder without a spotter; consider hiring a professional. 
  • Roofs -- Inspect your roof, or hire a roofing contractor, for conditions and made all necessary repairs now. 
  • Beware of scams. Anyone claiming to be roofers and home-improvement contractors must be licensed and bonded. More information is available on the Contractors State License Board website at www.cslb.ca.gov  (click on Consumers). If people claim to be City of Pasadena employees and approach residents with a demand for payment for permit fees, repairs or power restoration, they are scammers. Call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 if you suspect a scam. 
  • Retaining Walls -- Inspect all retaining wall drains, surface drains, culverts, ditches, etc. for obstructions or other signs of malfunction.  Fix or replace now. 
  • Slopes -- Inspect all sloped areas for signs of gullying, surface cracks, slumping etc. Also inspect patios, retaining walls, garden walls, etc. for signs of cracking or rotation.  Fix and problems now. 
  • Bare Ground -- Make sure your yard does not have large bare areas which could be sources for mudflows during a storm event. The fall is a good time to put down mulch and establish many native plants. 
  • Sprinklers – Adjust to water only one day per week; turn off when it rains. 
  • Storm Drains -- Inspect nearby storm drains, before the storm season and after every rain; if the storm drains are obstructed, clear the material from the drain or notify the Public Works Department. 


For life-threatening emergencies, always call 9-1-1.  Speak calmly, answers all questions with direct information and be able to accurately identify where you are calling from and the nature of the call.  

Phone number posted at home and in your cell: 

Power outages  --  (626) 744-4673 
Water outages  --  (626) 744-4138 
Gas Company  --  (800) 427-2200 
Citizen Service Center  --  (626) 744-7311 
Fire Dept. Administration  --  (626) 744-7177 
Police Non-Emergency Line  --  (626) 744-4241 

Important City of Pasadena Web links: 







 Citizen Service Center


Other Important Web links for information: 

National Weather Service, weather updates for the region  www.weather.gov/losangeles  

NOAA El Nino web portal  www.elnino.noaa.gov 

Los Angeles County El Nino website   www.lacounty.gov/elnino 

Los Angeles County Alert System  www.alertlacounty.gov 

California Office of Emergency Services   www.caloes.ca.gov  

FEMA:  www.fema.gov /  www.ready.gov  /  www.ready.gov/build-a-kit 

American Red Cross,  www.redcross.org and  www.PrepareSoCal.org 

Pasadena Humane Society, pet-care tips  www.pasadenahumane.org 

Landslide and Mudslide Info  http://www.lacounty.gov/LANDSLIDEMUDSLIDESafety-phbs_2012.pdf 

Disaster Management Agency  www.DMAC.CA.GOV 


In the event of a widespread and sustained emergency in which traditional means of communications are unavailable for unreliable, the City has designated all Pasadena Fire Stations as official “Disaster Information Sites” where official emergency public information will be physically posted and available. 

Go to www.cityofpasadena.net/Fire/Station_Directory to see where the nearest fire station is for you. Signs posted outside the fire stations will direct you to the info booth. The Disaster Information Sites are an information-sharing only service staffed by volunteers.  They are not distribution points for emergency aid, food or water. In addition to our Disaster Information Sites at Pasadena Fire Stations, the City will use a variety of ways to send out emergency public information, including: 

KPAS—City Government TV 

        KPAS, provided by Pasadena Media, www.pasadenamedia.tv, is seen on Channel 3 by Charter cable TV subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T U-verse subscribers.  Information broadcast by KPAS is also streamed on the City's website at www.cityofpasadena.net/Media and the Pasadena Media website.  


         Everyone who lives or works in Pasadena should sign up today for emergency alerts, Red Flag announcements and other information from the City by joining the City’s Pasadena Local Emergency Alert System, or PLEAS. 

         PLEAS uses both text and voice messages to keep residents and community members in Pasadena informed in case of citywide or major emergencies.  Phone subscribers will receive a message with the latest information and safety instructions—that must be listened to in its entirety or the system will call you back. 

Go to www.cityofpasadena.net/Fire/PLEAS to register today your phone today. 

Social Media 

       The City uses several social media accounts, especially Twitter, to send out alerts, including the following online pages and mobile handles: 

          www.twitter.com/PasadenaGov, @PasadenaGov 

          www.twitter.com/PasadenaFD, @PasadenaFD 

          www.twitter.com/PWPnews, @PWPnews 

          www.twitter.com/PasPD_News, @PasPD_News 

        Residents can also sign up at “Nixle” alerts, a free social media system used by many public safety agencies, including Pasadena’s Police and Fire Departments.  Go to www.Nixle.com to set up a free account and be sure to define the geographic area that you want alerts information. 

News Media 

In the event of a major disaster or emergency, use your solar- or battery-operated radio to stay tuned to local major news radio stations:  

KNX 1070 AM Radio  http://losangeles.cbslocal.com  
KFI 640 AM  www.kfiam640.com 
KPCC 89.3 (NPR affiliate)  http://www.scpr.org 
KTNQ 1020 AM Radio (Spanish news)  http://univisionamerica.univison.com/  


  • If you must drive, be cautious and allow extra time for travel. California law requires that headlights must be turned on whenever windshield wipers are in use, even during daytime hours. 
  • If you are driving and see flooded roads ahead, turn around. About 80 percent of all flood-related deaths occur when drivers try to navigate flowing water. 
  • In case of mudslides or flooding, never stay in an area where raw sewage accumulates and make sure no part of your body touches raw sewage. If you do come in direct bodily contact with raw sewage, consult with your family physician immediately. 
  • To report raw sewage, call the Citizen Service Center, (626) 744-7311 
  • Check on neighbors who may require special assistance, especially senior citizens, persons with disabilities and minors who are home alone. 
  • Stay home if possible until the wind situation improves. Some roads may be impassable due to fallen trees and/or downed power lines. 
  • Stay clear of downed power lines and anything touching them. Always assume that a power line is live and hazardous. Downed cable and telephone wires can also be hazardous. 
  • To report downed trees or power lines, call the Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311 or the Police Non-Emergency Line at (626) 744-4241 
  • Do not drive high-profile vehicles that may be blown over by high winds, such as RVs and large trucks. 
  • If a federal emergency is declared for the Pasadena area, private property owners might be eligible for monetary relief due to windstorm damage. Apply at www.fema.gov/assistance or call (800) 621-FEMA. 
  • Owners of private property damaged during windstorms might be eligible for temporary relief from property tax. Apply on the L.A. County Assessor website.ment at (626) 744-4241 if you suspect a scam.


Learn how to turn off the gas and water service at your home.  Shut off gas immediately if you smell a “rotten egg” odor or here a hissing sound.  Keep a turn-off wrench tied to your gas meter.  Never turn gas back on once you turn it off—let the Gas Co. or a certified plumber do it and to check for leaks.
Water is a precious resource following a disaster.  Turn off water at main water valve.  Know where your main water valve is; label it and only turn back on after hearing that the local water system is safe for drinking. 

Make a habit of keeping your vehicles full of gas or fully charged as gas stations and charging sites might not be available. 

Consider keeping a small amount of cash in your Go Kits as your regular ATM might be unavailable or out of cash and retail stores may not be able to process credit card transactions. 

As you update and rotate supplies, consider increasing your emergency supplies, as appropriate, with things like extra tarps, tools, tents, a portable generator, toilet kits, large trash bags, fire extinguishers, blankets and heat sources. 

Add a solar-based charging system to you inventory to keep your cell phones, tablets or other electronic devices charged during extended power outages. 

Water Usage Gauge