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Increased Risk of Floods and Landslides for Fire Burned Areas

Family Assistance Program

The San Bernardino County Fire Department is reminding those who live near recent wildfire burned areas that often times following the loss of vegetation and long periods of drought, floods and landslides may follow. Preparation is key to mitigate the risk of major disaster with the potential of these occurrences.

The reason for the increased risks is that normally, vegetation would absorb the rain and roots from the vegetation would keep the ground in place. With fire damage, the vegetation is burned away causing the loss of soil strength and leaving the ground no longer able to easily absorb the rainwater. Once burned, the increased risk of flooding and mudflows last for several years.

Properties directly affected by fires, and those located downstream of burn areas, are most at risk,” San Bernardino County Fire officials said in a news release. These fast-moving flows, which may consist of debris are hazardous because they can come with little warning, blocking drainage, damaging structures and endangering humans and animals.

The Fire Department has created an informative brochure to help you better protect your family and your property. The Fire Department has created an informative “Ready!Set!Go!” brochure to help you better protect your family and your property. The brochure explains how you can prepare, including cleaning out rain gutters and storm drains. It also says where you can sign up for emergency alerts, and information about free sandbags provided at your local fire stations.

Sandbags can be the best tool to protect doorways creating  a barrier, which can help to redirect water. Fire officials said that this works best if a waterproof layer, such as heavy plastic is placed behind them. “If possible, secure it to the door frame,” said Fire officials. “Stack the sandbags in a pyramid formation and wrap the plastic up and over the top.”

The new San Bernardino County Office of Emergency Services app, Ready SB, provides residents with multiple resources that will assist them in preparing for a disaster such as flooding. Ready SB is now available as a free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and can immediately help residents prepare themselves for emergencies.

Some other helpful resources:

• To find your closest sandbag location and other information on storm preparation check SBCoFire’s website at www.sbcfire.org.

• Check the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov to see current and upcoming weather events.

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Family Assistance Program