Californians Unite: Confronting Hurricane Hillary’s Challenge Head-On

Prior to Hurricane Hilary’s anticipated impact in Southern California, California is still preparing. Today, everyone is reminded to take all essential precautions.

SANTA CRUZ – In order to support Hurricane Hilary response and recovery efforts, Governor Gavin Newsom today declared a state of emergency for a large portion of Southern California. In preparation for the storm’s predicted effects starting today, the state is still mobilizing and coordinating resources. The current emergency declaration can be found at this website.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that Hurricane Hilary, which is presently a Category 2 storm, would cause “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” in Southern California, Baja California, and the Southwestern United States. Most of the storm’s effects, such as the torrential rain and strong winds, are anticipated to start today and linger through Monday.

More than 7,500 boots are currently deployed on the ground under the Governor’s order to assist local communities in defending Californians against Hurricane Hilary’s effects.

While meeting with members of the California National Guard in San Diego, the governor officially declared an emergency. Also today, Todd Gloria, the mayor of San Diego, and first responders were hosted by the governor. He kept in touch with the White House as well as other federal authorities.

What the governor said: “California has thousands of people on the ground collaborating with federal and local staff to provide resources, equipment, and knowledge to support communities in Hurricane Hilary’s path. The entire government is being mobilized as we get ready for and react to this extraordinary storm.

Here are the top 5 precautions Californians should take in order to stay safe during the storm.


State Operations Center Activated: Governor Gavin Newsom’s order activated the State Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), and the state is now closely monitoring the effects of rain, wind, flash flooding, and potential power outages, as well as coordinating across state agencies to provide resources in advance of other potential impacts. In order to coordinate and monitor reaction activities, the state has also activated its Medical and Health Coordination Center and sent out a notice to all of the state’s medical facilities.

Prepositioned Resources: The state is still organizing the prepositioning of emergency resources throughout Southern California and the Central Valley in anticipation of Hurricane Hilary.

The California Medical Assistance Teams (CAL-MAT) are among the resources the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has on hand to address medical requirements in flood-affected regions, boost local capacity, and assist with evacuations. The EMSA is prepared to support nearby municipalities with Ambulance Strike Teams when required.

In case it becomes necessary, the Flood Operations Center has been activated and prepared with floodfighting equipment.

More than 350 soldiers and twenty high water vehicles have been strategically prepositioned by the California National Guard.

Nine swift water rescue teams, 290 strategically placed engines, and urban search and rescue teams have been prepositioned by CAL FIRE.

More than 700 local government firefighters and support personnel, 15 swift water rescue teams, two urban search and rescue companies, and three regional urban search and rescue task forces have all been sent out by Cal OES through the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System.

Maintaining Roadway Safety: There are about 2,000 Caltrans maintenance workers in the area that work 12-hour shifts around-the-clock. Specifically in northern Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties, they are monitoring burn scars for potential mudslides and building pumps in flood-prone places like Pacific Coast Highway/State Route 1 in Orange County. Opening emergency operations centers and working with city and county emergency operations centers as necessary are Caltrans Southern California districts. More than 3,900 policemen and other employees of the California Highway Patrol have been stationed in the area, along with prepositioned equipment, limited emergency operations centers, and Special Response Teams on notice.

Protecting Vulnerable populations: California keeps a close eye on possible effects on vulnerable populations, especially homeless people. In order to ensure that people have access to services should they require them, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has made contact with regional partners and licensed facilities caring for some of the most vulnerable people, such as disabled people, senior citizens, and unsheltered people. The state also collaborates with local authorities to guarantee that mobile home parks are making the necessary preparations.

Coordination with the private sector: To make sure that emergency supplies are available and emergency contingency plans are triggered, California continues to co-ordinate with large stores, such as Target, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, CVS Health, and others, as well as grocers. Furthermore, the state is working with significant fuel suppliers, utility companies, and telecommunications firms to assess any support requirements for maintaining key services.

State parks and beaches are being closed as needed. The state is actively monitoring how the storm is affecting state parks. California currently has 600 employees on the ground to respond and has shuttered 10 parks. In addition to expanding lifeguard services, the state is closing Silver Strand State Beach and Borderfields State Beach today, as well as the beaches in the Orange Coast District and San Diego District on Sunday and Monday. During the storm, it is urged that the people avoid the ocean. Additionally, reservations for campgrounds in high-risk regions have been deliberately revoked by state parks.

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