After what seems to be an endless cascade of storms, San Mateo County is yet again encouraging residents to prepare for more weather-related issues as the region braces for another storm.
The county suggests now is the best time to prepare for any potential disasters, not when the lights go out.
Resources in preparation for the weather event:
Local emergency alerts
Sign up for SMC Alert, a messaging tool that sends emergency information to email, cell phones and other devices. SMC Alert is free and is available in all cities and towns in San Mateo County.
Sign up for your city’s website and follow your local government, police and fire departments on social media. These accounts are often the first to sound the alarm about an emergency. Additional trusted social media sources with local information include:
- San Mateo County Sheriff
- Cal FIRE CZU (San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit)
- National Weather Service Bay Area
Know your zone
In an emergency, first responders will issue advisories based on zones. Emergency managers have carved the Peninsula into more than 300 zones. Each zone is assigned a short code. Residents can enter an address to find their zone here.
MyShake is a statewide earthquake warning system.
The FEMA app offers real-time weather alerts, notifications and the ability to locate emergency shelters in your area.
National weather radio
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio provides information for the San Francisco Bay area online here.
A number of locations operated both by the county and local cities are offering sandbags for residents. The distribution locations can be found here.
The county recommends packing a paper map in your car or commuter bag and preparing emergency kits for your home and vehicle. Numerous checklists on preparedness and tips on what to pack can be found here.
Resources for during a weather event or emergency:
If you don't have power and need a place to stay or other resources, call 2-1-1. Operated by the United Way of the Bay Area, 2-1-1 can connect you to a specialist for personalized assistance with free, confidential information in multiple languages.
Stay up-to-date on power outages and potential blackouts during fire season with the outage map for Pacific Gas & Electric, which serves most of Northern California.
511.org provides up-to-date information on road conditions and closures. Caltrans also offers a look-up tool for current conditions on California highways. You can also call 1-800-427-7623 for current highway conditions.
Downed power lines
If you encounter downed power lines or a gas leak, leave the area immediately and call 9-1-1. Then, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. Know what to do if you see a downed power line.
For additional information, click here.