SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is warning that this year’s El Niño could be as costly and devastating as the one that drenched California in 1997-98. Back then, devastating storms killed 17 people and caused $550 million dollars in damages.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, here are 5 things you can do now to prepare for a strong El Niño:
 

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  • Check your property. Clear drains, rain gutters and downspouts of debris;
  • Get flood insurance. If you already have it, check your policy to make sure you have enough coverage;
  • Make copies of all your important documents and make sure the originals are stored safely somewhere outside of your home (like a safe deposit box);
  • Take photos of your possessions (furniture, collectibles, electronics) and store the pictures along with your important documents outside of your home;
  • Make an itemized list of clothes, books and small appliances and other possessions, and start saving receipts when you purchase items so you’ll have proof of their original cost.

 

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CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.

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