The United States experiences extreme and dangerous weather, and this winter, parts of the U.S. face a particularly severe threat. Forecasts are showing a soon-to-peak El Niño that could deliver drenching conditions to California and throughout the South. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed fact sheets on El Niño available at NOAA El Niño Impacts by region and the Winter Outlook is available at NOAA El Niño Winter Outlook. These predicted conditions come with an enhanced flood threat and an increase in tornado activity through the spring.
For the next several months, many areas in the United States are at an increased flood risk from El Niño as a direct result of drought and wildfires. Disasters don’t always occur when families are together in one place. Now is the time to put together a family communication plan and talk with your family about ways to contact each other during an emergency, and designate a safe meeting spot. You can also plan ahead by knowing official evacuation routes, and keeping important papers in a safe, waterproof place. Additional tips and resources on how to stay safe and prepare are available at www.ready.gov.
More information is available about El Niño at www.fema.gov/el-Niño. The tab labeled Additional Resources include links to resources from various federal agencies including NOAA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.