Storms and flooding

Are you ready for the next storm?
Winter storms can cause floods, uprooted trees, downed utility lines and landslides.

You should know the potential for flooding or flash flooding in your neighborhood.

Even six inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet, and a depth of two feet will float your car. Never try to walk, swim or drive through floodwaters.

If you live within a flood plain, contact your insurance agent and verify that you carry flood insurance on your property.

FREE sandbags for residents
Residents can pick up sand and empty bags at the following locations. Please remember to bring a shovel. Check out the interactive sandbag station map for locations.

Alerts and real-time information 

Residents can sign up for the following notification services to receive critical information on emergencies:

San Francisquito Creek monitors

Water levels in San Francisquito Creek can be monitored by accessing the San Francisquito Creek Joint Power Authority’s flood warning site and the City of Palo Alto’s Creek Monitor webpage and.

How to prepare for storm events

  • Review the Winter Preparedness mailer published by the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority and its agency partners
  • Be aware of flood prone areas and know if your property is in the flood zone
  • Pick up sand and empty bags at the City’s sandbag locations
  • Store emergency items in a high place
  • Store drinking water in clean, closed containers
  • Prepare emergency plans with family members
  • Learn how to turn off utilities if authorities advise to do so. (Note: that utility professionals will need to turn them back on)
  • Stay informed through social media and radio sources (KCBS 740 AM/106.9 FM or KZSU 90.1 FM)
  • Take precaution and do not drive across flooded roads
  • Report downed utility lines
  • Be ready to evacuate following the evacuation route map, if directed