Storm Preparation Tips and Resources

Storm Preparation Tips and Resources:
Storm preparations continue in anticipation of a very wet predicted El Niño weather pattern. The City is taking a prudent stance to prepare for possible significant rainstorms by identifying high-risk trees, inspecting storm drains and culverts, clearing debris and vegetation from natural creek areas and more. 

The community is encouraged to take precautions and prepare for the upcoming storm season as well. View the helpful resources and tips below and download our flyer for additional ways to be storm ready.
El Niño flood preparedness and response pamphlets available at the following locations:

  • Corp Yard: 550 N. Canal St.
  • City Hall/Finance Dept: 400 Grand Ave.
  • City Hall Annex: 315 Maple Ave.
  • Fire Admin Bldg. – 480 North Canal St.
  • Terrabay Gymnasium – 1121 South San Francisco Dr.
  • Main Library – 840 West Orange Ave.
  • Joseph A. Fernekes Bldg. – 781 Tennis Dr.
  • Orange Memorial Park Pool – 781 Tennis Dr.
  • Parks and Recreation Dept. – 33 Arroyo Dr.
  • Police Dept. – 33 Arroyo Dr.
What should you do to prepare?

Stay informed

Staying informed is critical during disasters and other emergency situations! San Mateo County Alert System, SMC ALERT, is a FREE alert notification system used to immediately contact you during urgent or emergency situations. Go to and sign up to receive alerts on your cell phone and via email. You will be notified quickly of tsunamis, floods, fires, road closures, planned events with traffic disruptions, etc.

Check current weather conditions 

Know your zone

  • Do you live in a flood zone? Find out here
  • Do you have flood insurance? Check insurance policies for adequate coverage. Most policies do not cover damage due to flooding.  Plan ahead, there is typically a 30 day waiting period before policies go into effect.  Make copies of all important documents; make sure originals are stored safely somewhere outside of your home (like a safe deposit box). 
  • Flood insurance info.
  • FEMA Flood Map Service Center 
See water? "Turn Around Don't Drown", a message from the National Weather Service.
turn around dont drown

Tips to prepare you and your home for evacuation here.

 Check your property

home gutter

  • Clear drains, rain gutters and downspouts of debris.
  • Trim trees and landscaping as needed to ensure that branches and limbs are clear of your structure and clear from overhead power lines (Contact Parks Maintenance if trees have grown over or around power lines on your property). 
  • Inspect your roof for any signs of damage or needed repairs. Make arrangements for the repairs before water starts to leak inside your property.
  • Stabilize slopes on your property to prevent mud and landslides. 
  • Secure outdoor furniture and other loose items from causing damage during periods of heavy winds.

Use sand bags in areas known for flooding around your property

10945676_879202585436087_670345634698232562_o  sandbags

  • Residents can receive up to 10 filled or empty sand bags, free of charge courtesy of our Public Works Department.
  • Prior to a storm (generally 48 hours before rainfall) and during regular business hours, sand bags are available to residents, with proof of residency, on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Sand bags can be picked up at the Public Works City Corporation Yard at 550 N. Canal Street.
  • Call (650) 877-8550 for information on sand bag distribution availability, days and hours.
  • Click here for a diagram on the proper use of sand bags. 
  • Click here to watch a video on how to fill, install and reuse sand bags.

Make plans

  • Make an emergency plan for your family and build a disaster supply kit. Remember that local phone lines may be busy during a disaster, so designate a family member to contact outside of the area.
  • Stock up on food, water and medicine so you don’t have to go out during the storms. This El Niño season is predicted to bring periods of long, back-to-back storms that may make it difficult to run your everyday errands.
  • Don’t forget about your pet’s needs. Stock up on their food and medicine too and make sure their ID tags are up to date.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors to see if they need any assistance with storm preparations.

See something that needs our attention?

There's an app for that! Our mobile phone and online application, Engage SSF, is a great tool to report non-emergency issues to facilitate storm preparations in your area. More information here.

Emergency Phone Numbers
San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services (OES) (650) 363-4790
California Office of Emergency Services (916) 464-1013
To report downed wires or power lines, a power outage, a gas leak or other related emergency, call PG&E (800) 743-5000 OR call 911
Red Cross Disaster Services (650) 259-1750

Contact StormPrep or call (650) 877-8550