January 5, 2023
  • Packing Sandbags

    Redwood City – After a series of intense storms, now is the time to prepare for power outages, road closures and other troubles.

    “With a slight break in the weather, now is the time to prepare for the next wave of storms,” said Adam Ely, who is spearheading the County’s response to the series of storms that began over the New Year’s weekend.

    “Prepare an emergency kit in case you lose power. Make sure you pack some water and food in case you get stuck in your car,” Ely said. “And be sure you have a working flashlight.”

    More intense weather is on the way.

    The National Weather Service posted a high-surf warning through late Thursday night until early Friday morning, bringing “very large breaking waves of 20 to 30” feet and beach erosion.

    And for the weekend, the Weather Service warns, “The consistent stream of moisture being funneled out of the tropical Pacific will continue into Saturday and gradually expand into more central portions of the state.”

    With that in mind, the following lists helpful websites and telephone numbers you may need to get through the next few days.


    Evacuations are always possible. If you’re ordered to evacuate, leave quickly. Here’s what to pack in an emergency kit. (Water, food and a flashlight are must-haves.)

    Download a printable version to take with you to the store. Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.

    Road closures and travel advisories

    Caltrans provides a look-up tool for state-operated roads and highways. You can also call 1-800-427-7623 for current highway conditions.

    The County provides a map and look-up tool with local hazardous conditions, including road closures and advisories (scroll to find map).

    County Parks are closed at least through Thursday. Check the County Parks website for updates.

    Assistance & Resources

    Call 9-1-1 only in emergencies. An emergency is any serious medical problem (chest pain, seizure, bleeding), any type of fire (business, car, building), any life-threatening situation (fights, person with weapons) or to report crimes in progress.

    Residents in need of storm-related, non-emergency assistance should call 2-1-1.

    The 2-1-1 line can connect residents in need of shelter to County resources.

    The County also provides links to resources in the county’s 20 cities.

    Sandbag pick-up locations

    The County provides a map to pick-up locations for residents in the unincorporated areas, which includes most of the coastside.

    Here is a list of sandbag pick-up locations for cities, with contact information to confirm availability.

    Emergency alerts

    The County encourages all residents to sign up for SMC Alert, which sends emergency messages to email, cell phones and other devices and landline telephones.

    Alert types include fire, weather, major utility outages and disaster notifications.

    Pacific Gas & Electric has an outage map and lets you sign up for alerts by email, text or phone.

    Downed trees

    If the branches are entangled in power lines, stay at least 25 feet away and call 9-1-1 immediately. Then, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

    If you live in a city, contact your department of public works with questions or requests for service.

    The County’s Road Maintenance Division is responsible for emergency repairs and tree removal on the County’s 315 miles of roads. Contact the Department of Public Works with questions or requests for service.

    Health & Safety Guidelines for Residents with Flooded Homes

    San Mateo County Health urges residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their families. Floodwater may contain raw sewage, animal waste, toxic substances, chemical compounds, fungus, bacteria, and other harmful materials.

    School updates

    The San Mateo County Office of Education provides updates on school closures. You can also find and contact your local school district.

    Media Contact

    Michelle Durand
    Chief Communications Officer