For flooding or tree emergencies, call (415) 485-3375 or (415) 485-3372. For all other emergencies dial 911.
For downed power lines and power outage reports, call 911 immediately to report the location of a downed line. After reporting the downed line, call PG&E's 24-hour Residential Customer Service Center at 1-800-743-5000. Consider downed power lines still active. Stay away from the lines and keep others away from them.
Get Ready for Winter Weather
Be prepared for when – not if – the next emergency will occur. How prepared are you?
Start with three steps
- Create an emergency preparedness kit with at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your home & office. Kits for vehicle road travel and winter weather evacuation go-kits are also advised. To plan, prepare and build a kit, please visit Ready Marin.
- Make a plan and practice it with your family and those who depend on you. Don’t forget about your pets!
- Stay informed and know the weather approaching so you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.
Be Prepared for Flooding
We do all that we can to prepare for wet winters, such as stockpiling sandbags and other supplies to respond to emergencies, inspecting catch basins and removing leaves from storm drains. We remove over 100 tons of leaves each year, but we still need your help to keep storm drains clear.
To help keep yourself and others safe, follow these tips:
- Dispose of yard waste and leaves by composting or using your green cart. There is no extra service charge for using up to two additional carts or paper bags – 32 gallons or smaller. You can also rent an additional 64-gallon green cart from Marin Sanitary Service.
- Don’t place anything in the street or in the way of a drainage system.
- If your home is in the path of runoff, keep plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand to divert water and debris.
- If your basement is subject to flooding, consider installing a sump pump with generator back-up.
- Don’t pour chemicals, paints, or other Household Hazardous Waste in areas where it might flow into the storm drain.
- Let us know by reporting any problems by email or phone at 415-485-3355.
Sandbags Can Help Protect from Flooding
If your property can be protected by sandbags, consider getting sand and bags BEFORE the rainy season and stockpile as many filled bags as you think you may need. We provide residents with sandbags and/or sand on a first-come first serve basis. For best results, fill sandbags 1/2 full. After all bags are in place, a light sprinkling of water is recommended. This technique is only effective with burlap sandbags and will not work with plastic sandbags.
Sand and/or sandbags are available at the following locations:
- Fire Station #51—1039 C Street - bags only
- Fire Station #52—210 Third Street - sand & sandbags
- Fire Station #53—30 Joseph Court - bags only
- Fire Station #54—46 Castro Avenue - bags only
- Fire Station #55—955 Point San Pedro Rd. sand & sandbags
- Terra Linda Community Center-670 Del Ganado Road- sand and sandbags
- Fire Station #57—3530 Civic Center Drive - bags only
Please remember that Station 52 and 55 are active, 24-hour fire stations. We ask that you keep driveways clear to allow emergency vehicles to respond as necessary.
For additional information, questions, or concerns, call (415) 485-3372 during regular business hours. Find directions to the stations online.
Sandbags and Flood Preparation Basics with the San Rafael Fire Department
How to place sandbags
Fold top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top (see illustration below).It is important to place bags with the folded top toward the upstream or uphill direction to prevent bags from opening when water runs by them. Care should be taken to stack sandbags in accordance with the illustrations. Place each sandbag as shown, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer. Limit placement to two layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are pyramided.
Be Aware - sandbags do have their limitations
Sandbags are basically for low-flow protection (up to two feet). Protection from higher flows requires a more permanent type of structure. Sandbags will not seal out water. When sand and soil-filled burlap sandbags are exposed for several months to continued wetting and drying, they will deteriorate. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed.
CAUTION - Do not use straw or bales of hay in lieu of sandbags. They do not perform as well as sandbags and may be washed away.
Once the storm is over
When the storm is over and you no longer need the sand bags, you may keep them for the following year or empty the sand in your backyard.
Consider Flood Insurance
Individuals and business owners can protect themselves from flood losses by purchasing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowner's policies do not cover flood damage. For more information go to www.floodsmart.gov
Important Phone Numbers
- Emergency Information Hotline (415)485-5070
- To report flooding on San Rafael roads (415)485-3375
- After hours please contact police dispatch (415)485-3000
- American Red Cross (Marin) (415)721-2365
- CalTrans Highway Conditions (800)427-7623
- Pacific Gas & Electric (800)743-5000
- NWS 24-hour Weather Information Line (831)656-1725
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Preparedness Information
- National Weather Service - San Francisco Bay Office
- National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Flood Hazard Information
- Marin County Flood Control District
- Marin County Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS)
- Nixle Emergency Notifications from the Police Department