FEMA's plan for El Nino

FEMA shares its plan for El Niño’s impact across California

El Niño is imminent, and federal disaster response officials are getting ready by planning for flooding, evacuations, electricity disruptions and drinking water shortages.

FEMA on Wednesday released a disaster response plan to prepare for what forecasters expect will be a winter of heavy storms and rains likely to cause flooding and affect millions of Californians. The latest predictions peg the chance of El Niño at 95 percent. Meanwhile, 20 percent of Californians live in a flood risk area, according to FEMA.

The plan details when and how officials will evaluate rain and flood forecasts and how they will deal with electrical outages, provide temporary housing, set up emergency operation centers, evacuate residents and conduct other disaster response actions. FEMA will help coordinate response with other agencies, officials said.

“FEMA is only one part of our nation’s emergency management team,” said Bob Fenton, the FEMA administrator for Region 9, which includes California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

FEMA is also convening a task force of local, state, federal, community and tribal partners to look at El Niño-related disaster hazards, identify the populations that are most at risk, and determine which facilities and infrastructure are critical for disaster response.

Locally, in addition to regular flood channel maintenance, Orange County’s Public Works Department is installing flood protection barriers next to culverts and storm channels where waters overtopped channels during heavy rains in 2010. This is the first time such “tiger dams” and “muscle walls” have been deployed here, according to Shannon Widor, spokesman for the department…

Read full story at OC Register