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El Niño: What to Expect

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that there is an approximately 95% chance that the current EI Niño conditions will continue through until the end of winter 2016.

(El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. When strong El Niño conditions exist, there is a higher probability of increased rainfall along the coast of California. The increased rainfall can result in heavier than normal runoff, causing localized and large-scale flooding.)

Climate Prediction Map

With El Niño season upon us there is a lot of concern regarding what to expect, how the campus is preparing, and what you as an individual can do to prepare yourself and your family for the impacts it may have. Listed below are valuable resources and information to give yourself peace of mind regarding severe winter weather that many of us may not be used to dealing with.

  • View the latest El Niño briefing for Southern California from the National Weather Service LA/Oxnard (last updated 11/25/15): CLICK HERE TO VIEW
  • All students and employees are automatically enrolled for BeachALERT notifications, but if you have recently changed your home or cell number or have a new preferred email address, please take a few minutes to log into your account and update your contact information so you don't miss out on any emergency alerts that may go out: CLICK HERE FOR MYCSULB
  • In addition to CSULB BeachALERT notifications, the city has a newly installed mass alert system called 'Alert Long Beach': CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
  • Update your emergency kit at home, in your car, and in your office (the places you spend the most amount of time): CLICK HERE FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Create a family emergency plan and practice it with those you live with. See our campus guide for family emergency planning: CLICK HERE TO VIEW

On campus, we began El Niño preparations months ago and have taken several steps to keep our campus safe and operating efficiently, including:

  • The creation of a consolidated campus map showing flood "red zones" and focusing our preparedness and mitigation efforts on these areas
  • Deploying 120 ft. of K-rails along Beach Drive to divert flood waters away from buildings
  • Purchasing 1400 sandbags and pre-deploying several in known flood zones
  • Testing all water pumps and hoses on campus
  • Performing required maintenance on all portable emergency generators
  • Inspecting and cleaning as necessary campus storm water catch basins
  • Testing all campus sump pumps
  • Sweeping streets of debris that may otherwise end up blocking storm drains
  • Ordering backup radios for emergency communications
  • Ongoing roof and rain gutter inspection and cleaning throughout campus

We know for a fact that many areas on campus are prone to severe flooding. Please keep in mind that when flooding occurs the safest place to be may be indoors, so we may issue a shelter-in-place directive until it is safe to leave. Parts of campus may be evacuated, and certain streets and intersections may be shut down on and around campus. Please monitor weather forecasts and always keep your phone and email readily accessible in case we issue a BeachALERT emergency notification.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information or would like to request a presentation for your office, department, or class please contact the campus Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator at

Thank you for your commitment to a safe and resilient university!