Here in the High Desert, winter brings unpredictable weather that demands preparation. Flash floods, sudden snowstorms, and icy roads can transform a peaceful afternoon into a dangerous situation.

As your County Supervisor, my top priority is your safety, and today we’ll dive into essential tips for navigating these winter challenges.

Understanding the Threats

Flash Floods: Our dry climate can shift quickly, with intense downpours transforming the parched landscape into raging rivers.

  • Never drive through flooded areas: It’s the leading cause of flood-related deaths.
  • Evacuate immediately if advised: Don’t wait until it’s too late.
  • Never enter standing water: It could be hiding debris or electrical hazards.

Snowstorms: Winter storms can dump large amounts of snow very quickly, catching drivers off guard.

  • Road Closures: Be prepared for detours and delays, especially on the Cajon Pass and Mountain Pass.
  • Power Outages: Stock up on non-perishable food and have alternative heating options like heavy blankets and fireplaces. A generator is also useful.
  • Hypothermia: Dress warmly in layers and avoid prolonged exposure to frigid temperatures.
  • Avoid travel unless necessary: If you must drive, adjust your speed and increase following distance.
  • Pull over if visibility is poor: Wait for the storm to pass before resuming travel.
  • Clear snow from your car thoroughly: Ensure your headlights, taillights, and windows are visible.
  • Help others cautiously: If you see someone stranded, offer assistance only if it’s safe to do so.

Pack Your Car Wisely

  • Emergency kit: Include blankets, first-aid supplies, non-perishable food, water, flashlight, and portable charger.
  • Jumper cables: Be ready to help yourself or others with a dead battery.
  • Traction aids: Chains are crucial on snow-covered roads.
  • Winter gear: Pack warm clothes, gloves, boots and a hat — even for short trips.
  • Cell phone charger: Stay connected in case of emergencies.

Stay Informed

  • Monitor weather forecasts: Check reliable sources like the National Weather Service (NWS) San Diego and Las Vegas social media accounts for updates. 
  • Stay updated on road closures: Follow Caltrans District 8 and San Bernardino County Public Works accounts for updates. Highway road conditions can also be found online or by calling 800-427-7623.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts: San Bernardino County’s TENS alerts offer real-time notifications about weather emergencies.
  • Have a plan: Discuss evacuation routes and meeting points with your family.

Remember: Preparedness Starts Here. Heed warnings and never underestimate the power of winter weather. For more information, visit