Southern California is preparing for the coldest winter storm of the season and likely the coldest to hit the region in many years.

KTLA 5 meteorologist Henry DiCarlo expects the coastal areas and valleys to see 4 to 5 inches of rain through Saturday. Snow may also hit the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, and La Crescenta areas.

The National Weather Service has also issued a rare blizzard warning for Los Angeles and Ventura counties as the storm approaches.

Weather and public officials have urged residents to stay warm using approved heating devices, such as a central or portable heater, or take advantage of shelters or other public facilities to escape the cold weather.

How you can prepare for the Winter Storm:

  • NotifyLA

Residents should sign up for NotifyLA to receive emergency alerts specific to geographic locations. Emergency alerts will be sent out via text, voice, or email. The public can also follow NotifyLA on Twitter for the latest updates.

  • Drive carefully

For anyone that has to go out during the storm, officials have advised the public to slow down, drive carefully and adhere to any weather-related traffic signs.

Drivers shouldn’t attempt to drive down a flooded street or flowing stream. Twelve inches of rushing water can carry a car, according to the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department website.

  • Put away loose items

Items such as toys, outdoor décor and tools can potentially block storm drains and cause street flooding. Officials advise the public to remove loose yard items before a storm.

 Residents can also call 3-1-1 or use the My311 app to notify officials of any debris that needs to be cleared.

  • Turn off the sprinklers

Residents are encouraged to allow the rainwater to provide hydration to their yards or gardens. People can save water and money by turning the sprinkles off when a storm arrives.

  • Avoid touching down power lines

Residents should avoid touching down power lines or electrical equipment if they are wet or standing by water.

  • Prepare for a possible blackout

In the event of a power outage, make sure mobile devices are charged; cars are charged or filled with gas and people in the household have easy access to essentials.

  • Check the emergency kit

Residents should ensure their emergency kit is filled with essentials, such as food, water, batteries, medicine, a change of clothes, and other necessities.

  • Make a plan

Households should make a plan for everyone on what to do if evacuations are issued.