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As you might have heard, the SF Bay Area is bracing for what is being called the “storm of the century”. The National Weather Service has issues a flash flood warning and a high wind advisory, and meteorologists are expecting 50 MPH winds, widespread flooding, and heavy rains throughout.

While the storm will provide some relief to our drought-ravaged state, it will also bring significant damage in the form of sinkholes, mudslides, toppled trees, and downed power lines. The storm is not expected to touch down until about 10PM tonight, which gives you time to take some precautions that will help you get through the next few days:

Before The Storm

  • Walk around your home and check for anything that can be blown away or damaged. Bring it inside or tie it down.
  • Pull out some cash from the ATM to keep on hand. A power outage will render credit and debit cards useless.
  • In possible, check the state of your gutters for any blockage that might impede the flow of rain.
  • Place a 1 or 2 liter soda bottles filled with water in the freezer. They can help keep your perishables cool if the power to the refrigerator goes out.
  • Insure you have fresh batteries for your flashlights.
  • Prevent flooding by stacking sandbags were needed, like the garage. The San Francisco Public Works Office (located at 2323 Cesar Chavez Street) can provide you with 10 free sandbags with proof of residency.
  • Make sure cell phones are fully charged.

During The Storm

  • Be EXTREMELY careful on the roads, and avoid driving if possible. Keep your headlights on, leave 2 car lengths between the cars ahead of you, and drive slowly. Before heading out, check for reports of sinkholes along your route and adjust accordingly.
  • Report low-hanging and downed power lines to PG&E IMMEDIATELY. Treat them as though they are live and do not try to move them yourself.
  • If possible, avoid using candles for light if the power goes out. If it is necessary, make sure they are far away from drapes and lampshades.
  • If the power goes out, unplug all electrical appliances and devices to avoid overloading circuits when the power comes back. Leave one lamp or digital clock plugged in to alert you of restored power.
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