Given the latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Sacramento, calling for damaging winds tonight and into Tuesday, now is the time for some last-minute storm prep.

Wind in the forecast

Sustained southerly winds of 25-35 mph with gusts of 40-60 mph are forecast tonight through Tuesday morning.

If you have outdoor holiday decorations up, consider removing them, or secure them very, very well. The same goes for outdoor furniture, it’s definitely not the time to leave those seat cushions outside.

Power outages are likely and could be prolonged.

Be Prepared

  • Have sufficient food and water for yourself and your pets to last for several days.
  • Pick up any prescription medication you may need before the storm hits.
  • Charge your electronic devices and check your flashlight and radio batteries.
  • If you have a cordless phone or answering machine that requires electricity to work, have a standard telephone or cell phone ready as a backup.
  • Have repair supplies available.
  • Secure any outdoor furniture.
  • Be aware of changing conditions and monitor your local media for weather alerts and updates.
  • If you are able, check on your neighbors.

If you must drive during the storms:

  • Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding
  • Do not attempt to drive (or walk) across running water more that a few inches deep
  • Avoid driving in water that downed electrical or power lines have fallen in
  • Avoid hydroplaning by driving slowly and keeping your tires inflated correctly
  • Avoid travel over the mountain passes, heavy snow and strong winds will lead to whiteout conditions and likely closures of the major highways.
  • Rock and mudslides on mountain roadways are likely. Reduce your speed, turn on your headlights and be aware of your surroundings.

Food safety

Below are some tips Nevada County Environmental Health shared with us during Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) season. They apply during any prolonged power outage.

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Keep potentially hazardous foods, such as meat or poultry, chilled to 41°F or less.
  • Do not place hot or unrefrigerated foods in the refrigerator once the power has gone out. It will raise the temperature inside the unit. Chill food with ice baths as needed. Any foods that were prepared prior to the power outage that were not rapidly cooled should be discarded.
  • If the freezer is not full, group packages together so they will retain the cold more effectively. Without power, a full freezer will keep everything frozen for about 2 days. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen 1 day.
  • If necessary, use block ice or bagged ice for supplemental cooling.
  • Keep meat and poultry items separated from other foods so if they begin to thaw, their juices will not drip on to other foods.
  • Discard any thawed food that has risen to room temperature and remained there for two (2) hours or more.
  • Some facilities may need to arrange for temporary refrigerated storage units during a prolonged power outage. (e.g. mobile units/trailers).
  • Kitchen ventilation units will shut off during power outages. Be advised that there have been reports of smoke, heat and grease emissions setting off alarm and fire suppression systems.

Sandbag locations

Sand and sandbags at the county facility
Sand and sandbags at the county facility. Photo YubaNet

Sandbags are available throughout locations in the Foothills. Bring your own shovel, sand and bags are provided for free.

Nevada County

  • Next to the Nevada County Warehouse on the corner of Highway 49 and East Broad Street in Nevada City
  • Penn Valley Fire Protection District located at 10513 Spenceville Road in Penn Valley
  • North San Juan Community Hall located at 10057 Reservoir Street in North San Juan
  • Higgins Fire Station 21 located at 10106 Combie Road
  • Peardale Chicago Park Station 57 18934 Colfax Hwy Grass Valley

Residents must bring their own shovel to fill the sandbags with sand. Sand bags are limited, Nevada County OES requests that residents only take what they plan to use for protection of their personal property.

Placer County

  • Alta: CAL FIRE Station 33, 33752 Alta Forestry Road
  • North Auburn: Placer County Fire Station 180, 11645 Atwood Road
  • Foresthill: Foresthill Fire Protection District Station 90, 20540 Foresthill Road.
  • Granite Bay: South Placer Fire Station 17, 6900 Eureka Road
  • Homewood: North Tahoe Fire: Station 53, 5425 West Lake Blvd
  • Kings Beach: North Tahoe Fire Station 52, 288 North Shore Blvd (Intersection of Highways 267 & 28)
  • Lincoln: Placer County Fire Station 70, 1112 Wise Road and Placer County Fire Station 74, 8500 Lakeview Lane
  • Loomis: Town of Loomis Corp Yard, Corner of Rippey Road and Mandarin Court.
  • Meadow Vista: Placer Hills Fire Station 84, 16999 Placer Hills Road
  • Northstar: Northstar Community Services District Corp Yard, 50 Trimont Lane (off Northstar Blvd)
  • Ophir: Placer County Fire Station 182, Ophir, 9405 Wise Road
  • Paige: Placer County Fire Station 75, Paige, 5390 Nicolaus Road
  • Sheridan: Placer County Fire Station 78, Sheridan, 4952 Riosa Road
  • Squaw Valley: Old Squaw Valley Fire Station, 1810 Squaw Valley Road (at west end of valley, near lifts)
  • Tahoe City: Department of Public Works Corp Yard, 2501 North Lake Blvd (Burton Creek)
  • Truckee: Truckee Fire Station 92, 11473 Donner Pass Road and Town of Truckee Corp Yard, 10969 Stevens Ln.

El Dorado County:

  • El Dorado County Fire Station #17 6430 Pony Express Trail, Pollock Pines
  • El Dorado County Fire Station #19 4429 Pleasant Valley Road, Placerville
  • El Dorado County Fire Station #21 4040 Carson Road, Camino
  • El Dorado County Fire Station #72 7200 Florian Court, Cool
  • Pioneer Fire Station #38 7061 Mt. Aukum Road, Somerset
  • Diamond Springs/El Dorado Fire Station #49 501 Main Street, Diamond Springs
  • Garden Valley Fire Station #51 4860 Marshall Road, Garden Valley
  • Rescue Fire Station #83 5221 Deer Valley Road, Rescue
  • El Dorado Hills Fire Station #85 1050 Wilson Boulevard, El Dorado Hills
  • Cameron Park Fire Station #89 3200 Country Club Drive, Cameron Park
  • Department of Transportation Yard 1121 Shakori Drive. Meyers
  • City of South Lake Tahoe Public Works Yard 1160 Rufus Allen Blvd., next to Campground by the Lake

If outages occur, per PG&E:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others well away from them and immediately call 911, then notify PG&E’s 24-hour emergency and customer service line at 1-800-743-5002.
  • Candles pose a fire risk. Avoid using them during a power outage. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
  • If your power goes out, unplug or turn off electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.