BEFORE A FLOOD
- Prepare a family disaster plan for floods, earthquakes and fires. Make an emergency kit for your home and for your car with emergency supplies such as a flashlight, batteries, water and non-perishable food. Move insurance policies, documents and other valuables to a safe deposit box.
- Be aware of the locations of streams and drainage channels in your neighborhood.
- Learn how to turn off utilities to your home and keep your car’s gas tank full so you won’t be stranded.
- Learn the best route to high ground to avoid flood waters.
- The smartest thing you can do to prepare for floods is purchase flood insurance.
DURING A FLOOD
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur and move immediately to higher ground.
- Tune to radio stations KCBS (740 AM) or KSJO (92.3 FM) for emergency information, traffic updates and instructions.
- If you must evacuate, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Evacuation is easier and safer before floodwaters become too deep.
- Try to avoid walking through moving water. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you and to aid in balance.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car immediately and move to higher ground. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pick-ups.
AFTER A FLOOD
- Listen for news reports on whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to your power company.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
- Never try to walk, swim, drive or play in floodwater.
- Stay out of any building that is surrounded by floodwaters. Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got damaged by water. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
Santa Clara Valley Water District Sandbag Stations
FILLED SANDBAGS - Available late November through April. At certain times, sites may be stocked with sand and empty bags. Bring your own shovel. Sites open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bags may be heavy, consider bringing assistance to load bags and only take 20 to 30 bags per vehicle.
- Palo Alto: 1925 Embarcadero Road, adjacent to Palo Alto Air Terminal
- Alviso: northeast corner of Gold and Catherine streets.
- Alviso site #2: behind George Mayne Elementary School, 5030 N. 1st Street, (entrance on Wilson Way behind school)
- San Jose: City Mabury (Service) Yard, 1404 Mabury Road, San Jose, CA 95133
- San Jose: City Central Service Yard, 1661 Senter Road at Phelan Ave., San Jose, CA 95122
- San Jose: Santa Clara Valley Water District Winfield Warehouse, Winfield Boulevard between Blossom Hill Road and Coleman Avenue, San Jose, CA 9512
- Morgan Hill: El Toro Fire Station, 18300 Old Monterey Road
10/2017 - The Santa Clara Valley Water District unveiled a comprehensive Flood Protection Resource page at its recent annual Winter Emergency Operations and Preparedness Workshop. Community information resources include flood insurance, flood zones, sandbags locations, emergency alerts and more.