Flood Preparedness

Sandbag Corp Yard public Opens in new windowOur entire region and the state of California were hard-hit by the winter storms of 2022-23. The City is taking proactive steps to prepare for the upcoming rainy season, and we encourage residents to do the same.

Community Flood & Stormwater Protection Initiative

In addition to near-term efforts, the City is working on the Community Flood & Storm Protection Initiative, which seeks to establish a reliable funding sources for stormwater infrastructure and system improvements. Property owners will receive a mailed ballot to vote on the proposed stormwater fee in fall 2023.

How You Can be Prepared:

  • Get prepared NOW – get any supplies, groceries, sandbags etc. in advance. 
  • Stay tuned to weather forecasts at www.weather.gov/mtr/
  • Clear gutters around your home, check sump pumps, and remove belongings from areas that have flooded in the past
  • Charge your devices and be prepared for potential power outages - visit PG&E's outage map for updates
  • If you are able, avoid driving or being out on the roads during heavy rains. If you must drive, NEVER DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED ROAD
  • Review preparedness resources and checklists from San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department 
  • Sign up for emergency alerts with your address through the Countywide SMC Alert http://www.smcalert.info/ and San Mateo Police alerts at www.nixle.com 
Sandbags Available to San Mateo Residents
Our self-serve sandbag stations will open to City of San Mateo residents during the wet weather season at: Corp Yard at 1949 Pacific Blvd. We will be opening additional sandbag stations for the 2023-24 winter season. More details to come.

Sandbag Rules
  • MAXIMUM 10 bags per vehicle
  • MUST be a San Mateo resident or Property Owner (be prepared to show proof of residency/ownership)
  • BRING your own shovel & heavy-duty trash bags - Sand and bags will be provided based on availability - bring your own heavy-duty trash bags in case bags run out.
  • MUST be able to fill the bags yourself (these are self-serve locations)

How the City is Preparing & Responding

  • Leading up to and through the wet weather season, teams are out re-clearing storm water catch basins and trash racks throughout the city
  • In areas more prone to flooding, for safety reasons we may proactively close roads and provide detours
  • Testing stormwater pump stations and planning for operational needs throughout the storm
  • Preparing for additional staffing to assist during intense storms
  • Maintaining a sandbag station at the Corp Yard 
  • Marina Lagoon will be held at lower operating levels and may be staffed 24/7 during extreme storm events
  • Arborists monitor public trees
  • We coordinate with the County and neighboring cities
  • We monitor areas with a history of flooding for storm conditions. Read more about these flood-vulnerable areas that are part of the FEMA Flood Zone.

Emergency Preparedness Resources

San Mateo Consolidated Fire's Office of Emergency Services maintains a robust list of resources for your own emergency planning. Preparing before an emergency can make a big difference when you have little time to spare. 

Important Links

Traffic Updates

Visit San Mateo Police Department's Nixle page for local updates

Sign up for County of San Mateo's SMC Alert system for countywide road closure and traffic updates

  1. Be Prepared
  2. Who to Call
  3. Resources & Recovery Information

Be Prepared & Safety Tips

  • Get prepared in advance – get any supplies, groceries, sandbags etc.
  • Charge your devices, test your flashlights, set aside drinking water -- be ready in the event of power loss 
  • Avoid driving or being out on the roads between 3pm and 3am. If you must drive, NEVER DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED ROAD
  • If you have a storm drain outside your home, consider adopting it to help clear it of debris prior to the rain www.cityofsanmateo.org/adoptadrain  
  • Tend to your household. If you live near water (creek, lagoon, hillside etc), shore up your property. Secure outside furniture and garbage cans.
  • Check on your neighbors. Whether they are elderly or new to California winter storms, checking on your neighbor, letting them know they are not alone 
  • Follow us on social media for updates
  • Sign up for emergency alerts through the Countywide SMC Alert http://www.smcalert.info/ and for San Mateo Police Department’s Nixle https://www.nixle.us/san-mateo-ca-police-department

Traffic & Road Closure Updates

Major road and highway information: 511.org: Latest Traffic Reports 

Follow San Mateo Police Department Twitter.