Before the Event: Property Preparation
Prepare for an Incoming Storm:
- Clean gutters and storm drains of leaves and debris regularly.
- Fix cracked windows and doorways.
- Gather and stash a collection of towels.
- Secure all outdoor furniture.
- Move cars to higher ground.
- Obtain or create sandbags before the rainy season. Stockpile as many filled bags as you think you may need.
How to Stack and Fill Sandbags
- Fill bags 1/2 to 2/3 full and tie at the top. Overfilled bags will not lie flat, and will leave gaps.
- Sandbags should be stored or placed as close as possible to the point of use. They should be covered and kept dry when not in use.
- Stack sandbags flat on the ground, overlapped and overstepped. Tamp down.
- Do not stack them against the outer walls of the building. Wet sandbags can add extra pressure to a structure.
Preparation for Landslides
- Inspect your property for land movement, retaining wall failure and blocked drainage ditches, storm water pipes or downspouts. Clean out ditches and drains for proper water flow away from the structure.
- If you suspect the potential for a landslide, contact an engineer to look for signs of land movement and review and, if necessary, repair any retaining walls.
- Review an escape route in case you need to vacate your home because of a slide above or below you. Learn the safest routes to adjacent property or city streets.
- Meet with your neighbors to discuss and repair mutual drainage problems.
- In addition to basic emergency supplies, have sandbags and lumber on hand to block any minor mudflow until you can get a contractor’s help.
During a Storm
Flooding on the peninsula could occur when heavy rainfall is combined with high tide. Storm runoff can also cause flooding to hillside homes.
- If your house is in the path of heavy runoff, keep plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber on hand to divert water.
- If your house is in a low lying flat area, and your basement is subject to flooding, consider installing a sump pump with generator backup.
- If there is a possibility that water will engulf electrical or gas outlets, turn off electricity and gas at the meters.
- If sandbags are needed to keep water at bay, refer above for how to stack and fill sandbags.
- Don’t walk through floodwaters that are more than knee-deep. If you are trapped in your home or building, move to a second floor and wait for help to come.
- Do not drive where water is over the road. The roadbed you think is there may not be. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
If you discover any earth movement or landslide, immediately leave the area. Notify neighbors and Town officials immediately. See above for how to prepare for landslides.
Major storms often cut off power for long periods of time. Treat all downed power lines as if they are live (or carrying electric current). Do not touch or try to move them.
Report downed power lines immediately to PG&E and 911. If a power line falls across a car that you are in, stay in the car. If you must leave it, jump clear so that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground. See PSPS Events for more information.
After a Storm
- Check your property and home for any damage. Do not call 911 unless there is a life-threatening emergency.
- Keep clear of downed power lines, trees, buildings, flooded streets, and damaged roads or bridges.
- Do not sightsee in flooded areas. Avoid unnecessary trips. Floodwater is dangerous and may be toxic.