Storm Preparation Tips

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

el nino signStorm 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.

Additional materials available for download:

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.

youtube screenshotKnow Your Zone
cleaning guttersCheck Your Property
  • Clear drains, rain gutters, and downspouts of debris.
  • Trim trees and landscape 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

sandbags on pallettes sandbag instructions

  • 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.
  • A diagram on the proper use of sand bags.
  • 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 or call (650) 877-8550

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer