Preparing for Rain
Incident: Rim Post-Fire BAER Burned Area Emergency Response
The Rim Fire started on August 17 and burned in steep rugged canyons on the Stanislaus National Forest and the Yosemite National Park. The wildfire increased the potential for increased flooding mud and debris flows that could impact ranches structures roads and other infrastructure within adjacent to and downstream from the burned area. Winter in the Sierra Nevada region can bring heavy rain storms and residents and visitors should remain alert to possible flooding when travelling along roads downstream from the burned area of the Rim Fire.
The Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) work together and coordinate with other federal and local agencies and counties that assist private landowners in preparing for increased run-off and potential flooding. Federal assistance to private landowners is administered by NRCS through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program (www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ca/programs/ cid=nrcs144p2_064025).
It is important that residents take steps to protect themselves and their property from flooding and mudflows:
For their safety communities need to monitor local weather reports and public safety bulletins local road closures emergency notifications weather alerts follow local county and city advisories and act accordingly.
Use a “weather radio” or smart phone “weather app” that monitors “all hazards” alerts issued by the NOAA-National Weather Service (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/).
Prepare for rainstorms by being prepared to evacuate if county or city emergency officials determine that flooding and mudflows are expected which could pose an increased threat to life and property.
Know and be alert to environmental signs of dangerous weather conditions and be prepared to take action that can save lives.
Understand that all canyons within the Rim fire area can produce flash flooding.
At first sign of a storm even if it’s not right over you the storm may be up-stream from your location or if you find yourself in a flood climb to safety (seek higher ground).
Resources to assist with Preparing for Flooding-Mudflows and Interagency Cooperator Information:
Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services (www.co.tuolumne.ca.us/index.aspx NID=308) promotes preparedness through its emergency services program to assist the county prepare for respond appropriately to and quickly recover from natural emergencies that may impact county residents. Tuolumne County communities can register to receive important notices and alerts during emergencies at www.co.tuolumne.ca.us/alertcenter.aspx and information regarding evacuation guidelines at www.co.tuolumne.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/751.
Mariposa County Office of Emergency Services (www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx nid=215) promotes preparedness through its emergency services program to assist the county prepare for respond appropriately to and quickly recover from natural emergencies that may impact the county residents. Information regarding emergency preparedness is available at http://ca-mariposacounty.civicplus.com/index.aspx NID=239 and http://ca-mariposacounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7121. Mariposa County communities can register to receive important notices and alerts during emergencies at www.mariposacounty.org/alertcenter.aspx and cne.coderedweb.com/Default.aspx groupid=8DJt1b8jNYIUOdN58kLEjw%3d%3d.
The California Office of Emergency Services provides information emergency preparedness and about flood and storm preparation:
The California Department of Water Resources provides information to the public regarding flood and safety:
Other Federal Agencies
The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) – Sacramento District coordinates its Emergency Management program with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local governments to provide engineering services to respond to national and natural disasters in order to minimize damages and help in recovery efforts. Public Law 84-99 enables the Corps to assist state and local authorities in flood fight activities and cost share in the repair of flood protection structures. Public Law 93-288 authorizes FEMA to task the Corps with disaster recovery missions under the Federal Response Plan (www.usace.army.mil/Missions/EmergencyOperations/NationalResponseFramework/FloodControl.aspx).
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 signed into law on July 6 2012 by President Obama reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September 30 2017 and increasing access for some residents whose homes could be impacted by flooding from federal land that resulted from wildfires. This law may allow residents in these impacted communities to be eligible for an exception from the 30-day waiting period usually required for flood insurance coverage. Additional information about NFIP is available through FEMA at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program or Flood Smart at www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/about/nfip_overview.jsp.
Other flood preparedness information is available at www.ready.gov/floods and www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/flooding_flood_risks/ffr_overview.jsp.
The USDI Geological Survey (USGS) provides “water watch” internet tools and flood information for the State of California: