stormy weather sign

Storm Preparedness

Winter has arrived and so has the wet weather.

El Niño storms are expected to be powerful this winter. Atherton residents must be prepared as storms can cause a variety of safety issues including floods. The Town of Atherton recognizes that flood incidents can be stressful and we have prepared a Storm Readiness webpage to help you minimize the impact of a flood loss by responding promptly to the situation. This webpage also serves as a guide for preparing for the possibility of future floods due to El Niño or other weather events.

channel flood
Marsh Road


If you do experience flooding, you or the property owner should immediately contact a firm for cleanup of the affected areas. If you do not know of a company to call for service, refer to the link below for 24-hour emergency contact information for restoration companies such as Restoration Management Company: 800-400-5058 (More companies listed on our webpage).

Do not attempt to clean the affected area yourself, let the company you hire handle this. While you are waiting for a crew to arrive:

  • Keep people and pets away from the affected area(s);
  • Turn off heating/air conditioning systems;
  • Do not remove items from the area, and
  • Contact your homeowner's insurance carrier to report a claim.
Atherton Sandbag Station #1


You can reduce the amount of water entering your home by placing sandbags in key locations. Place sandbags over floor drains (including shower and bath), and in front of doorways, roller doors and vents. For maximum effectiveness, stagger the sandbags in an overlapping pattern like brickwork. You do not necessarily want to place a sandbag wall around your whole house. Before you place them, consider how you would remove floodwater if it got trapped between the sandbag and your building (e.g., pump, siphon, bailing bucket).

Residents can receive up to 10 filled or empty sand bags, free of charge courtesy of our Public Works Department. Prior to a storm (generally 48 hours before rainfall) and during regular business hours, sand bags are available to residents, with proof of residency, on a first-come, first-served basis. Sand bags can be picked up at the Public Works Department at 99 Station Lane. 

Call (650) 752-0541 for information on sand bag distribution availability, days and hours.

Marsh Channel
Marsh Channel

During the Storm

Continue to monitor local news and weather for flash flood warnings, evacuation orders, whether the water supply is safe to drink, or other emergency notifications.

Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.

If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic, or roof.

Stay away from any building that is surrounded by floodwaters.                                 

Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company.

Avoid contact with floodwaters as they may be contaminated or electrically charged from downed or underground power lines.

Stay off of the roadways to keep them clear for emergency vehicles. If you must drive, use caution and adhere to any detours, warnings or barricades. If your car stalls in rising waters, leave the vehicle immediately and get to higher ground.

Avoid moving water, storm-damaged areas and areas known to be susceptible to flooding. Even shallow moving water can sweep you off your feet. Roadways where floodwaters have receded may be damaged and unstable.

Experiencing a flood can be physically and emotionally draining. Be sure to get enough rest, eat healthy food, set reasonable goals for progress with cleanup, and seek emotional support if you need it. Contact the local Red Cross chapter at (415) 427-8000 for help finding emotional support services.


Thank You!

For more information on Storm Readiness, including information about El Nino, flooding, flood insurance, preparing your home, evacuating your home, and recovery and restoration please visit the new Storm Readiness webpage.

If you have any questions related to the webpage or storm preparedness,  please contact the Town's Public Works Department at 650-752-0570. 

During the storms, if you perceive any imminent threat of flooding to your dwelling please contact 911.

Thank you,

Atherton Public Works Department

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