Storm Tips from the Dept. of Emergency Management

San Francisco Department of Emergency Management

No, we’re not expecting “White Walkers” to emerge from the fog but heavy rain and high winds are headed our way Wednesday night. While the Stark family motto of warning and caution, “Winter is Coming”, might be a little dramatic, we should remember this kind of weather can cause landslides or flooding.

Here are some simple tips to safe, dry, and make you the Jon Snow of your neighborhood:

Sweep up leaves and litter from their sidewalks and gutters and place them in the appropriate bins. This can help keep storm drains from getting clogged.

Anywhere it rains it can flood especially if you live in a low lying area. Construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering your home or building. The San Francisco Department of Public Works offers free sandbags to protect your property.

If water has entered a garage or basement, do not walk through it. You can’t always see or smell what’s in the water and it could be harmful to you.

Walking through moving water is dangerous. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you must walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

Stay clear of water that is in contact with downed power lines.

Keep children from playing around high water, storm drains, or any flooded areas.

Flooding can also cause headaches on roadways. The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Avoid driving through flooded roads. The depth of water is not always obvious and you could be stranded or trapped.
  • Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
  • Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

To report rain related issued call 3-1-1. If you are in danger or have an emergency call 9-1-1.

For more information, call 3-1-1 or follow @sfpublicworks and @sf_emergency on Twitter. You can also visit or for additional road closure and other safety information.”

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