LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Many people across the Southland are preparing their homes in advance of the approaching El Nino season.

Pasadena resident Cary Akiyoshi is putting gravel in his aunt’s backyard to prepare for the expected rainfaill.

“So it’s not muddy when she comes out to garden, because of the heavy rains that are coming.” Akiyoshi said.

Yakov Raham is a contractor who says that is is extremely important to make sure your roof doesn’t have any leaks — by checking your attic for water marks.

Water marks are either white or black, Raham told CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen.

Contractors say many cities across Southern California offer grants and loans to low to moderate income families to help them with home repairs.

“The grants can get not only the roofing,” Raham said. “But also can get other things that are essential to the house like electrical and plumbing,” he added.

Earlier this month, a Temple City street was flooded because of a trash bin blocking the gutter.

The Pasadena Fire Department warns locals to not let that happen in your neighborhood, and to be prepared for possible power outages.

“You can invest in a generator so that if you do lose power – you have the ability to still have some electricity,” Pasadena Fire Department Battalion Chief Seaton King said.

Other ways homeowners can prepare for El Nino

  • Clean out your gutters
  • Have flashlights and batteries handy
  • Make sure your car tires are in good shape, in case you have to scramble

Cary Akiyoshi says he’s making repairs now and not waiting for things to get bad, and for emergency services to get backed up.

“You might have to wait becase you’re probably not going to be the only person that’s having a problem,” Akiyoshi said.

“That waiting time as you’re waiting from them to do your job, you might have additional damage,” he added.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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