SAN FRANCISCO—City, state, and federal agents have begun to prepare for El Nino, and are urging households across the state to stay alert and prepare for weather-related changes.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reminding families to create an emergency communication plan for getting hold of each other in case disaster strikes while apart. FEMA’s Southwest District Administrator Bob Fenton stated, “It’s important for Californians to take this seriously and understand during these conditions that having a plan [and] supplies is important.”

Scientists have indicated, despite this potentially being the strongest El Nino in history, the damages of the drought will still not be undone by the effects of the storm. Severe weather patterns are expected to run from January through March, and possibly extend into May 2016.

San Francisco Mayor Edward M. Lee has stated the city has been making preparations for some time now. With 25,000 storm drains in the city,  workers have been cleaning as many drains as possible in preparation for flooding. Trees are being trimmed, and the city is providing thousands of sandbags for residents and businesses, free of charge.

Lee also discussed that there are over 1,000 emergency shelter beds set up in gyms and business buildings for the homeless population in the case that severe weather strikes. 

San Francisco is encouraging all residents to use to receive emergency notifications and learn more information about major storms that are underway. The city is also requesting participation in reporting storm drain clogs or damages that need attention. Residents can call San Francisco’s non-emergency line within San Francisco 3-1-1 or from outside of San Francisco, 415-701-2311.

For a full list of emergency preparations to be aware of, visit to read the most up-to-date information about El Nino and how to best prepare for severe weather conditions.