santa cruz county supervisor felipe hernandez
Santa Cruz County Supervisor Felipe Hernandez. Contributed photo

As the winter season approaches, ensuring the safety and well-being of our community becomes our paramount concern. Navigating the uncertainties of changing weather patterns demands unity and vigilance. 

In preparation for the winter season and to foster community resilience, my office collaborates with regional partners to organize community clean-ups, emphasizing the importance of collective effort. Together, we can create a safer and more prepared community.

Winter Preparedness 

Stay informed with CruzAware, the emergency and non-emergency alert system for Santa Cruz County, at This resource provides timely updates on winter storms and emergency information. Free sandbags are available in the unincorporated area of South County at various pickup locations listed on

Determine flood-prone areas using FEMA’s website ( Proactively develop an emergency evacuation kit and plan following FEMA’s guidelines ( Act decisively on official advisories, especially in flood-prone areas, and consider additional protection through flood insurance. 

Prepare with an emergency supply of essentials, including non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, a manual can opener and a battery-operated radio. Individual preparedness ensures collective community well-being.
Enhance winter preparedness with El Niño in mind by staying informed through regular weather monitoring. Assemble an emergency kit, safeguard homes and winterize vehicles. Plan for power outages, establish communication plans, and be aware of flood risks. Proactive measures like assisting neighbors, trimming trees, securing outdoor items and protecting electronics contribute to comprehensive preparedness. 

For potential El Niño storms, clear gutters, ditches and culverts to prevent blockages. Seek professional assistance for proper road grading. Protect slopes with vegetation, leaving stream wood unless it poses a threat. Prepare wells, and during the storm, promptly clear debris from gutters, culverts and drainage systems. Avoid disturbing slopes and soil and monitor and maintain runoff controls.

Corralitos Creek Clean Up 

On Nov. 8, we joined forces with several organizations, including the County of Santa Cruz, Community Development and Infrastructure, Watsonville Works, Trash Talkers, Watsonville Wetlands Watch, the City of Watsonville, and the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project to tackle a cleanup effort along Corralitos Creek, located on Airport Boulevard across from Safeway. 

Our collective efforts resulted in the removal of over 25,000 pounds of trash, building upon an earlier cleanup organized by the Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project on Oct. 28. Our primary objective is to restore the waterway’s natural flow and prevent further pollution. We are grateful to all who participated in this initiative, helping to safeguard our environment for future generations.

Coffee with the Sheriff

Join “Coffee with the Sheriff” on Dec. 1 at 10am at Coffeeville, 948 East Lake Ave. in Watsonville. It’s an opportunity to engage in conversation and address any questions you may have with the Sheriff or myself. We hope to see you there!

Youth Futures Workshop

Join the Youth Futures Workshop on Dec. 1 (5:30-7:30pm) and Dec. 2 (noon-2pm) at 315 Main St., Suite 206 in Watsonville. This engaging workshop is designed for individuals aged 14-34, will feature presentations, interactive activities, and the opportunity to build a community focused on envisioning the future of California over the next 100 years. Explore solutions for the future in this immersive space, filled with interactive group activities and innovative tools. Grab a bite, have fun, and to secure your spot, register at and embark on a journey of exploration and inspiration.

Office Hours

Open office hours will be held every second Friday of the month at the satellite office located at the Veterans Building, 215 East Beach St. in Watsonville from 2-4pm. Walk-ins welcome, no appointments are necessary, and residents can discuss issues or just meet me. 

Supervisor’s Update is a recurring column from Santa Cruz County Supervisor Felipe Hernandez’s Office.

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  1. The Pajaro Valley HistoricalAssociation invite you to visit us to talk about flood control. We have done an exhaustive study and have some recommendations that you might want to consider. We are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 AM to 3 PM.

    Alina Aguilar
    Bill Beecher
    Pajaro Valley Historical Association
    332 E. Beach St.

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