Planning ahead is the single most critical thing that should be done in advance of any disaster. This is true for not only natural disasters, but man-made disasters as well.
Weather plays a major factor in many disasters. While weather forecasting techniques have improved greatly over the past few years, there are still many, many variables involved that make total accuracy quite difficult to achieve.
The wildland firefighting and other public safety agencies do their best to get the word out about expected and changing critical weather conditions before or during emergencies in preparation for possible evacuations. Emergency Notification Systems are being considered and utilized by these agencies to the extent possible, but are not always in place, or perform as expected. Other entities such as power providers do their part as well to get the word out.
The various types of media play a crucial part in disseminating all this information, and should be commended for their dedication in performing this valuable public service.
Each individual can and should take certain steps to remain educated on their own though as to the changing conditions surrounding you. The two areas that really stand out are wildland fires and flooding conditions, both greatly exacerbated by the weather.
Staying abreast of current and expected weather conditions will allow you to incorporate that very valuable information into your own plan when faced with making decisions in actual real time conditions. A very good source to go to is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website, where real time data is available. Referring to this site from your home computer, and via a smart phone or other mobile device will allow you to obtain notifications as they are released.
The CAL FIRE Incident Information page offers a lot of valuable information as well, but you should understand that it is generally only updated 1-2 times per day, so the relevancy of information could be somewhat stagnant. It is however a good source to refer to, and CAL FIRE also provides Links to other agencies for non CAL FIRE Incidents.
So, the bottom line here is to plan early, and plan well. If I can assist you in doing so, please contact me via the consulting contact form.