Protect Property Pre-Rain

Protect Property Pre-Rain with These 3 Steps

Updated November 11, 2020. By Oscar Ortega: Even as we hope for rain to combat fire and quench thirsty landscapes, rain isn’t all good news. It brings the possibility of mudslide, debris flow and flood. Here an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.

To prepare your property for rain:

  1. Proactively Prevent Slides: Place preventative sandbags to secure slopes. This step may also be wise if you have significant grade changes in topography, either on your property or nearby properties, that direct water toward structures. Sandbags are available at LA County Fire Stations (Locate).
  2. Clear Waterways: Bioswales, gutters, infiltration pits, really anywhere water moves or infiltrates, should be cleared of debris before rain starts.
  3. Inhibit Irrigation: Beyond wasting water, adding irrigation to stormwater can destabilize slopes on your property and elsewhere. Weather-based irrigation controllers are a great way to avoid both this danger and any hassle associated with it. It may seem funny, but this kind of smart irrigation is among the landscape features shown to bring homeowners the greatest joy.

If you have time to think beyond safety, consider:

  1. Saving Rain: Rain barrels can provide valuable supplemental water in dry months, and often there are grants available for their installation.
  2. Plant!: California native plants like moving to new homes in the late fall and winter. One of the easiest ways to help these delightful plants establish is to plant them when the extra water they need is falling from the sky!.

Property protection is all about being proactive. Not only are LA rains often deluges, our preponderance of hardscapes can make water flows dangerous.
Our tips assume time to prepare. If you are currently experiencing flooding, please follow the L.A. Fire Department’s general storm safety guidelines: Avoid all waterways, man made and nature – never enter moving water on foot or in a vehicle. This is particularly important in areas where the land has been denuded by work or fire. If you or someone you see has been swept into moving water, do not enter the water yourself. Immediately call 9-1-1 and, if possible, throw a rope or some type of flotation device to them. For additional safety tips, visit, and follow @LACoFD and @LACoFDPIO on Twitter.
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