With two rainstorms forecast for the second half of this week, Sheriff’s Department deputies and Southern California Edison officials are warning residents of potential safety hazards on the road and in the home.
After a winter of very little rain, this week Los Angeles County is expecting two of the wettest winter storms to hit the region in almost two years. While these storms will not alleviate California’s drought, local law enforcement and power company officials are asking residents to use caution and prepare for adverse weather.
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“One thing our deputies always hear, especially during wet weather is, ‘people in Southern California don’t know how to drive in the rain,’” said a Sheriff’s Department press release.
Windshield wipers, headlamps and brakes and tires are some of the most important car parts to check before rain arrives.
If the rubber on windshield wipers is cracked or brittle, they should be replaced immediately.
Motorists are also required to use headlights during daylight hours while running their windshield wipers. Low-beam headlights–never parking lights–should be used in the rain, day and night.
Motorists can help prevent collisions and avoid hydroplaning, by ensuring that their brakes and tires are in good working order before driving in the rain.
During first few days of rain after a long dry period, the roads are most slippery because oil and dust have not washed away, making it easier to lose control of a vehicle.
“If you are involved in a collision, you must stop,” the Sheriff’s Department release said. “Someone could be injured and need your help. If you do not stop, you may be convicted of ‘hit and run’ and could be severely punished.”
After a minor collision, move out of the traffic lane and exchange information with the other party, or call 911 if anyone was injured or killed in the incident.
Southern California Edison also wants to warn residents of the potential safety hazards during a rainstorm, including downed power lines and power outages.
Downed power lines can be live, even if they don’t appear to be. Residents should not touch the powerline or anything in contact with it and call 911 immediately.
- Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they may pose a significant fire hazard.
- Do not use any equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
- If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
- Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep food as fresh as possible. Place blocks of ice inside to help keep food cold. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage.
- Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.
For more information and a power-line safety fact sheet, click here.
To contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station regarding non-emergency issues, call 661-255-1121.
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Source: Santa Clarita News