El Nino 2016 Preparations

This spring semester, we anticipate heavier than usual rains in San Diego.  Recently, the first storms of El Niño passed through campus and the region, bringing heavy rain, flooding, strong winds and lightening. An El Niño is an infrequently occurring change in the Pacific Ocean’s climate around the equator. The effects of an El Niño include atmospheric changes in the Northern Hemisphere, usually in winter.  For San Diego, we anticipate seeing multiple heavy rainstorms occurring consecutively for the next several months.

We encourage you to become prepared for this weather phenomenon by following the following recommendations:

  • Download the San Diego Emergency App – available free for both iPhone and Android phones
  • Ensure your local address and emergency contact information is up to date on the MySanDiego Portal
  • Review the USD Emergency Procedures website
  • Register your phone number and email with AlertSanDiego through www.ReadySanDiego.org to receive emergency notifications
  • Be attentive to all emergency alerts, particularly those sent by Public Safety. Listen to voicemail messages that come from USD (619) 260-2222. Please do not just call the number back to ask about the call. Multiple return calls negatively impacts emergency response services. 
  • Call 211 if you require information regarding evacuations, shelters, road closures and other disaster-related services.
  • Ensure you have appropriate supplies:
    • Strong umbrella
    • Poncho or raincoat (with reflective material)
    • Rain boots
    • Emergency preparedness kit (including flashlight, batteries, chargers, emergency cash, protein bars or energy snacks)
  • If you have a car:
    • Remember to keep the gas tank at least ½ filled in case you are delayed in traffic or become stranded
    • Consider changing your windshield wiper blades
    • Do not drive through standing water, two feet of water can sweep away a vehicle
  • If you are a commuter student living in a local apartment (particularly in the Mission/Fashion Valley areas and Beach neighborhoods):
    • Consider purchasing renter’s insurance if you do not already have it
    • Be aware of the areas known to flood
    • Prepare sandbags or other materials to build a dam around your living space if necessary
    • Although not related to El Niño, please note: the San Diego Police Department has reported an increase in "hot prowl" burglaries, where access is gained through garages and unlocked doors, (particularly in Mission Beach).
  • If you are an on-campus residential student:
    • Report any issues in your room through the online Work Request Form
    • If it is an EMERGENCY room request between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, please call 619-260-4250 or extension 4250
    • If it is an EMERGENCY room request after 5:00 p.m Monday through Friday, and on weekends, please call USD Public Safety at 619-260-2222 or extension 2222.

Make your safety and the safety of others a priority. If you see something, please say something. Watch out for each other, alert staff of concerns, and help out if you can safely support others. Also, remember to stay in contact with family regarding your safety.