California water crisis: Jerry Brown declares emergency: California water conservation

California water crisis: Jerry Brown declares emergency, asks public to ration water

With the edge of Folsom Lake, Calif.,  more than 100 yards away, Gina, 8, left, and Sydney, 9, Gerety walk on rocks that are usually at the waters edge,  Thursday Jan. 9, 2014.  Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency in California, as the state faces a serious water shortage. Reservoirs in the state have dipped to historic lows after one of the driest calendar years on record. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

With the edge of Folsom Lake, Calif., more than 100 yards away, Gina, 8, left, and Sydney, 9, Gerety walk on rocks that are usually at the waters edge, Thursday Jan. 9, 2014. Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency in California, as the state faces a serious water shortage. Reservoirs in the state have dipped to historic lows after one of the driest calendar years on record. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

Kurtis Alexander

(01-17) 10:01 PST San Francisco — Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday officially declared a drought emergency in California, asking residents to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20 percent and committing to bolster the state’s dwindling water supplies with better management and federal assistance.

The order, announced at a news conference at the governor’s San Francisco office, comes as the state is gripped by a third consecutive year of dry weather.

Rivers are running low. Snowpack is meager. And communities across California are worried about having sufficient water for homes, businesses and farmland. The dry weather also has increased the threat of wildfire, with record acreage burning this month, including a 1,700-acre fire that continues to char the hills above Los Angeles.

With the emergency declaration, Brown said he would make it easier for communities to transfer water from wetter parts of the state to dryer areas. He also said he would seek federal assistance, though he didn’t detail that effort.  SFGate  . . .

California water conservation: Jerry Brown declares emergency: California water crisis

As we watch WV recover from their water crisis California’s governor Jerry Brown has issued a proclamation for a 20% drop in water use.  It’s the driest January in years.  California needs rain – desperately.

Fire is a very real threat.  Following Fire – Flooding – should rain come it may be more than the dry dirt can absorb.

Fire and flood are equal opportunity disasters. They can hit business, homes, farms, and everything in between.  The recovery is weeks if not months.

California water crisis: This is a time to prepare.

1. Water – Check your water storage.  Have none. Grab a few gallons at the store today. Or a 5 gallon container and fill it at home. We keep 5 of the large green heavy-duty water containers used for desert camping ready. They’re sturdy and can handle being handled roughly.  The clear plastic 5 gallon work but any impact can cause a crack. If evacuations happen take your water.

2. Fire – Place critical documents in the cloud.  Including scanning your driver’s license, passport, birth certificates, insurance documents, and any business documents you may need.

Grab you cell phone, camera or video camera and walk your house and business property.  Inside and out.  Document what you own including cars.

Call your insurance agent. Verify your policy and that you have enough coverage. Update it now.

3. Evacuation – Be ready. Stay aware. Listen to and for emergency alerts. Stay safe.  Evacuate at the first alert don’t wait out anything – just go.

Animals –  Have your animal carriers ready. We keep 2 – 1 gallon bags of food ready plus our cats have their own water bladders.  We have extra sarongs and pashminas ready to wet and create filters over their cages. If you have carriers keep some bungies and rope with you.

Bug Out Bag – Bring your essentials. Medications. Food. Water. Change of clothes. Sturdy shoes. Camp stove. I have a sample mini bag posted here …

Family – Make a communication plan.  Who does everyone call or better yet text?  Choose someone out of the area and use text if possible. I highly suggest a closed Google circle or facebook group along with a twitter account.  Text or twitter into the group.  One text group knowledge.  Make sure kids have their phones charged and ready.  That Sherriff’s knock can happen any time.

Cars – Keep a full tank of gas.  Check tires and fluids.  If traffic stops turn off the car. Save gas.

Bikes – Put them on your car.  If traffic or smoke gets bad a walk out or bike out could save your life.

Have more than one route out, paper maps, and a planned meeting place out of the area.

Lock your house, close your windows, remove flammable window coverings – they often self ignite, leave garden hoses, gas wrenches attached to meters, shovels, snack bars and a few gallons of water on your walkway.  Firefighters and police may need tools, food and water.  Want to be s hero – make a hero emergency bag.  Pack a mini kit specifically for the first responders.  Sample here …

Flood – If you’ve completed the above you are ready to leave at the first sign of a problem. Activate your plan and follow emergency instructions.

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