Severe Storm Safety Tips
For Information in Spanish, Filipino and 中文, visit: sf72.org/hazard/severe-storms
Severe storms can cause flooding to homes and streets and landslides in certain areas. Clear out storm drains before a storm. Avoid lower elevation streets, drainage channels, and other areas that may flood. Check on friends and family who may need assistance during the storm, especially elderly, homebound, or neighbors with disabilities.
Before the Storm
- Sign up for AlertSF by texting your Zip Code to 888-777 to receive real-time emergency alerts.
- Check your supplies and make sure you have what you need on hand: http://www.sf72.org/supplies.
- Check on friends and family who may need assistance preparing for the storm, especially the elderly, homebound, or neighbors with disabilities.
- Remove debris and sweep up any leaves from sidewalks and storm drains to keep them from getting clogged. Join San Francisco’s Adopt a Drain and Rain Guardians programs to “adopt” one of the 25,000 storm drains (or catch basins) or rain gardens in our beautiful City and pledge to keep it free of debris and help minimize risk of flooding.
- If you live in an area that floods, Public Works will provide San Francisco residents and businesses up to ten free sandbags leading up to and during severe rainstorms. Sandbags can be retrieved daily between 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Public Works operations yard, Marin Street/Kansas Street gate. Bring proof of address. Sandbags also are sold at many local hardware and home improvement stores.
- Elevate belongings in garages or basements.
During the Storm
- Keep 9-1-1 available for life and safety emergencies. Report non-life threatening storm-related issues such as clogged catch basins, residential or street flooding, sewer backups, or wastewater odors to 311 online at sf311.org, on the 311 mobile app for Android and iPhone, or by calling 3-1-1.
- Avoid driving during heavy rains and winds. If you have to be out, then stay away from flooded areas and downed power lines, whether in a car or on foot. Do not drive through water more than 6 inches deep.
- If the power goes out, unplug and turn off appliances. Leave one light on to signal when power is restored.
- Avoid using candles during power outages to prevent fire hazards. Use flashlights or head lamps instead.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Stay informed: tune-in to KCBS (740 AM or 106.9 FM), local TV channels, or social media (@sf_emergency; @sfwater; @sfpublicworks; @sfdph ) for emergency advisories and instructions.
- Check on friends and family who may need assistance during the storm, especially elderly, homebound, or neighbors with disabilities.
After the Storm
- Check your home or business for flood damage and contact your insurer or landlord. Information about how to file a claim for injury, property damage or loss caused by the City and County of San Francisco can be found at sfcityattorney.org/claims or by calling (415) 554-3900. Claims filed will be investigated and evaluated by the City Attorney’s Office Claims Division.
- If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak, call 9-1-1. Then call PG&E at (800) 743-5000.
- Keep children and pets away from floodwaters and avoid outdoor areas that have been recently flooded. Remove shoes and wipe paws before returning indoors.
- If the power is off, throw away all discolored or foul-smelling food, especially meat, poultry, and fish, in the refrigerator. Freezer foods may last from 48 to 72 hours if the freezer is full and the door remains closed. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Continue reporting clogged catch basins, street flooding, sewer backups or wastewater odors to 311 online at sf311.org, on the 311 mobile app for Android and iPhone, or by calling 3-1-1.
- Check on friends and family who may need assistance after the storm, especially the elderly, homebound, or neighbors with disabilities.