Homeowners Urged to Have El Niño Action Plans

With an El Nino season just around the corner two San Diego communities are preparing residents for rough weather days ahead.

Currently, a strong El Nino is present along the equator, and it is strengthening. Forecasters are predicting rising tides, coastal flooding and a wet winter.

Such conditions will affect coastal communities like Imperial Beach in some ways and East County communities like La Mesa in others.

A lecture drew nearly 100 Imperial Beach residents to the Tijuana River Visitors Center Tuesday night.

Jessica Martinez was among those in attendance. She lives just blocks from the beach and has her parents, grandparents and three dogs to keep track of in a storm.

“Even if it is an exaggeration, I’d rather take it to heart and I would rather be prepared,” she said. “I want to have an action plan ready and encourage others in my community.”

Animal control officers, border agents, lifeguards, deputies, insurance agents and search and rescue officials were just some of the services behind the booths with handouts and advice.

“We live close enough to the beach. I want to make sure my house is prepared,” Brooke Kolinski said.

Coastal residents should be prepared for higher tides, beach erosion and flooding in the event of a strong El Niño.

Kolinski could write a book on being prepared.

She has a list and the last thing on it is coming here to see if there was anything she'd missed.

“Making sure I have an emergency kit at work. Making sure possibly have one in the car. Making sure I have one at home. Making sure my gas tank is halfway full all the time so if I do have to evacuate I don't run out of gas,” Kolinski said.

In La Mesa, 75 residents showed at the El Niño community forum.

Heartland Fire and Rescue officials and police officers warned of flooding, landslides and power outages in East County.

“You want to make sure you keep supplies. Any of your disaster supplies, you want to keep them in multiple locations," Emergency Management Coordinator at Heartland Fire & Rescue Mona Freels said.

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