Creek and Channel Safety Awareness Program
Staying Out Means Staying Alive!
In 2011 the Board of Supervisors declared October 2011 as the first Creek and Channel Safety Awareness Month, and directed the Flood Control District to continue implementation of the Creek and Channel Safety Awareness Program. Since that time, the program has produced improved signage, safety brochures, school outreach, community outreach, a safety evaluation, a student created safety video, and Swiftwater Rescue coordination, and more.
As the rains begin, please be aware that water levels will rise in the creeks and channels. The water is cold, swift-moving, and full of debris. Appreciate the great jobs creeks and channels do to protect our community from flooding; protect yourselves and your loved ones – but most importantly,
Our “Stay Out, Stay Alive!” campaign is primarily spread via our annual fall outreach to all schools in the County. We also need your help to spread our message:
-Be aware of fences and warning signs identifying the flood control channels
-Stay out of the channels
-If you see a person in the channel, immediately call 911
-Inform your family members about the Program and it's messages
Outreach Efforts and Programs
Every year, students at Walnut Creek Intermediate School join forces with the County Flood Control District to spread the word about Creek and Channel Safety. The school's Leadership and Art classes learn about the dangers of local creeks and waterways and create "Stay Out, Stay Alive" posters that are hung around the county in high-visibility locations near District flood control channels. The posters increase help spread our message and reminds everyone that our creeks and flood control channels are not safe to play in or around. This year's posters are shown below.
Walnut Creek Intermediate School is a perfect platform from which to share the Stay Out, Stay Alive! message. The school is bisected by the Walnut Creek flood control channel which the kids cross daily via two foot bridges. Furthermore, two former students from the school perished in a flood channel rafting accident in 2011. Flood control channels criss-cross the entire region, and several pass near schools. Because these channels collect run-off from small creeks, some of which are on private property, there are dozens of potential access points. The District has done extensive safety stenciling, signage and fencing to dissuade people from entering the waterways and to forewarn them of the dangers. The Stay Out, Stay Alive! schools outreach campaign helps spread this message each year at the onset of the rainy season by sending safety information to each school in the County and holding special events such as the one held at Walnut Creek Intermediate School.
The District also contacts other schools all across the County to remind them about our program and encourage them to give our safety messages to the students and their parents. They are also sent a free "Creek and Channel Safety" banner to hang up at the school property for their students to see and share on social media. Thanks to all of the schools who participated this year!