Winter Storm Preparedness

In preparation for unusually wet rainy seasons and the additional concerns that may arise following regional fires, Pepperdine University has begun implementing a comprehensive winter storm preparedness plan. These preparations include, among other things, a review of our emergency plans to protect and communicate with our students, faculty, staff, and guests; inspections and maintenance of drainage systems; coordination among first responders; preparation for emergency supplies deployment; and an evaluation of areas on campus that may be most affected by substantial rainfall, including our hillsides. The University consults with Los Angeles County authorities and independent technical experts to plan in advance of storms, to monitor conditions during rain events, and to modify plans as conditions change.

As with any emergency, Pepperdine considers the safety of its community its highest priority. In order to help our community remain safe, communication with the University community is critical. In the event of a campus closure or class cancellation due to inclement weather, Pepperdine’s EOC will update the community via Everbridge and the Emergency Information Page (

Information on road closures within the Malibu area is also noted on the University’s Road Conditions Hotline at (310) 506-ROAD (7689). You may also call the out-of-area emergency line at (888) 286-5659, which is updated during emergencies with the latest information.

University calendars are reviewed for events which may be impacted by inclement weather and event planners are encouraged to create alternate, indoor plans, if necessary.

The Department of Facilities Services maintains campus infrastructure and helps prepare the campus for emergencies. Their team inspects and clears gutters, storm drains, and drainage systems to ensure rainwater and runoff flows safely and as designed. They have also planned with Public Safety for the careful and strategic deployment of sandbags on campus.

Facilities Services regularly reviews and updates their storm preparedness plans and evaluates campus locations to inspect before, during, and after rainstorms to help them respond quickly to any issues that might arise.

The University implements a number of erosion control measures in addition to drainage system maintenance. Based on current evaluation of existing conditions, Pepperdine may place sandbags, K-rails, or other surface coverings to mitigate the impacts of runoff and potential debris flow.

To prepare campus hillsides, a material called Flexterra may also be applied to some of the slopes throughout campus to help control erosion. This high performance, flexible growth medium bonds directly to the soil and helps a mixture of native seeds establish and grow. Flexterra is considered one of the most sustainable and effective ways of minimizing soil loss and runoff, and because it is hydraulically applied, it has no nets or threads to endanger wildlife. It is also safe for animals and humans, biodegradable, and non-toxic. The initial bright green color will last about two weeks before fading into a more neutral green and brown.

As with any emergency, it is worth taking a few minutes to plan ahead. Discuss your plans with your friends/roommates/family members and establish a communication protocol if you are separated or normal modes of communications are unreliable. Pay attention to University messages, other emergency notifications, the local weather and stay informed. Lastly, review the Debris Flow and Personal Preparedness sections of the Emergency Information Page for additional considerations.