A single person attended the latest Mountain Emergency Service Committee meeting. But Kathleen Henderson, the Riverside County emergency services coordinator for the mountain, briefly discussed the county’s plans to help residents on the Hill and throughout the county prepare for the impending El Niño event. (See other story, this page.)

The county’s new Emergency Management Department is drafting a concept paper to help respond to the possibility of major events, such as flooding and mudslides.

The basic message is to prepare just as one would for earthquakes. No one knows when and how much rain will fall, but residents should be ready for considerable rain and potential flooding, which might close or even wash out roads.

Protect your property. To avoid flooded areas, know where alternative routes may be. And be prepared for possible outages with a supply of food and water.

A series of community meetings has been scheduled in Idyllwild and other Hill locations. See the accompanying box.

At these meetings, representatives of several county agencies, including EMD, Flood Control and Transportation, will be available to address the potential problems and answer questions.comm-outreach