First Storm of the Season Brings Wet and Windy Weather

October 24, 2021

Our first wet and windy weather event of the season is upon us. The National Weather Service is forecasting significant rain through Monday, with the potential of 3 to 4 inches of rainfall in span of 24 to 36 hours, gusty southerly winds of up to 45mph and 50mph on the coast, and a high surf warning tonight through Tuesday morning.

While this is the first event of the season, there will be more soon, so now is the time to make sure that you know how to keep yourself and others safe. It also is a great time to check on loved ones who may need some extra help when it’s windy and rainy—and get to know your neighbors if you haven’t already done so.  

San Francisco will continue to monitor the weather conditions and prepare accordingly, but no matter the conditions, remember to do all you can to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Remember to use a mask when dining indoors, keep any interaction short and outdoors as much as possible, wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer after touching shared surfaces.

Heavy rainfall may cause flooding in localized areas and strong winds may blow down limbs, trees and power lines so please avoid non-essential travel during the storm to prevent potential accidents on the road, near flooded areas or downed power lines. If community members need to be out, stay away from flooded areas and downed power lines whether in a car or on foot.

To report downed trees, please call 3-1-1 or use the 3-1-1 app. To report downed power lines or other life and safety emergencies, please call 9-1-1.  

People experiencing homeless seeking shelter should call 415-355-7445 to reach the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). The Homeless Outreach Team will distribute emergency blankets, ponchos, socks, and other warm clothes to unhoused residents and will check for medical needs, including signs of hypothermia. In addition, a 100-person capacity temporary shelter will be opened at Moscone Convention Center West for Sunday and Monday nights, with a referral from the street on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Multilingual information on general severe weather is available at

To prepare ahead of the storm, follow these tips:

FREE Sandbags at Public Works: Public Works will provide San Francisco residents and businesses, with a proof of address, up to 10 free sandbags leading up to and during severe rainstorms. If your property has not experienced flooding in the past, please leave sandbags for properties prone to flooding. Sandbags can be retrieved Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Public Works’ operations yard, Marin Street/Kansas Street Gate. Sandbags also are sold at many local hardware and home improvement stores.

Clear Storm Drains: Prevent urban flooding on our streets when it really pours. If you see a clogged sewer drain or downed trees or flooding, contact 311, @SF311, or to have it cleared by the City.

Update SF72 Supply Kit: If you’re going to the grocery store, get your usual staples and a few more just in case. Make sure you have basic supplies on hand like water, non-perishable food (including some that don’t require cooking), flashlights with fresh batteries, prescription medications, and portable radio.

Vehicle Safety: If you are driving when it is raining or wet, go slow. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists. Turn on headlights. Keep three car lengths between you and the vehicle ahead. Wear bright-colored clothing if walking or cycling. Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car, and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects and create hazardous driving conditions. Bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies, and secure outdoor objects that could blow away and cause damage or injury.

Power Outage Safety: If the power goes out, unplug and turn off appliances. Leave one light on to signal when power is restored. Avoid using candles because they are a fire hazard, especially in San Francisco due to so many wooden buildings. Have flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Keep your cell phone and other devices fully charged just in case power goes out. Call 9-1-1 for downed power lines (and never go near or touch a downed power line) or other life and safety emergencies.

Coastal Safety:  A High Surf and Wind Advisory on Sunday will produce beach hazards and dangerous surf conditions through Monday morning. Please avoid the beach and people are urged to avoid rocks/jetties & steep beaches as larger waves can occur suddenly.

Stay Informed: Sign up for emergency alerts by texting your zip code to 888-777 or by visiting  

Look out for one another: Check on family, friends, neighbors, and those vulnerable to severe weather. Connect by phone calls, e-mail, text messages, video chat, and social media. If you must communicate in person, wear a face covering, keep social distance, and follow other safety protocols.

Keep these helpful links handy: 

Stay warm, stay dry, and stay home.