For your safety, Southern Marin Fire District urge all residents to review flooding and winter storm resources, and prepare themselves and their property from the possibility of wind and water damage this upcoming winter season.
What actions can I take to prepare and/or stay safe?
Before the storm
- Secure outdoor objects that could be blown over by wind (e.g, patio furniture, sports equipment, trash cans, pop-up canopies)
- Rake leaves and other yard debris and place in green bin (to keep out of gutters and storm drains)
- Make sure your emergency kit is up-to-date: have a flashlight, radio and spare batteries handy if the power goes out.
- Protect homes and businesses in low-lying flood-prone areas by making sandbags.
- Mariners / Houseboat occupants should secure vessel for severe wind and seas
- Sign up to receive AlertMarin emergency calls, text message or email alerts.
- Discuss with your employer about – where possible -- a work from home option during the storm, especially if you live in a low-lying area where roadways flood and can keep you from returning home.
- Visit Emergency.MarinCounty.org for additional resources for preparing for a storm.
During the storm
- Avoid unnecessary travel. Strong winds and wet roads make travel risky, and possible flooding may prevent you from returning home. Staying home is the safest option until the storm passes. If its an emergency, allow emergency responders to come to you.
- Use extra caution when driving. If you MUST leave your home, drive carefully: slow down, keep both hands on steering wheel, turn on head lights, allow extra space between vehicles, and watch for downed tree branches, trees, and powerlines. Allow extra time in case of detours away from flooded roadways.
- Do not walk or drive around barricades or through standing water. Turn around, do not drown. If it’s an emergency, allow emergency responders to come to you.
- Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume a fallen power line is live and do not touch it with your hand or other object. Call 9-1-1 immediately to report the fallen line.
- Mariners / Houseboats should remain in port. Strong winds and cause hazardous seas which could capsize or damage vessels.
- Monitor Emergency.MarinCounty.org for the most up-to-date weather and emergency information.
Power Outages/Downed Power Lines
Residents are advised of possible downed trees and power lines. Report downed power lines by calling 9-1-1 and PGE at 1-800-743-5002. Stay away from the downed powerlines and assume they are energized and dangerous.
- Check to make sure you have batteries, fully charged back-up battery packs for your devices, and a battery powered radio.
- Recharge your laptop computer, cell phone, and other mobile devices as a precaution against a power outage.
- Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member.
- Freeze water bottles or bags of water for food storage if the power goes out.
- Have enough nonperishable food and water.
- Make sure you can open your garage door if the power goes out.
If the power goes out:
- Do not call 9-1-1 unless you are having a life-threatening emergency.
- Call (800) 743-5002 or check the PG&E Outage Map for updates.
- Monitor local news for information and updates - local AM radio stations are a good source of information.
If you see a downed power line call 911 immediately. For more safety information about downed power lines visit PG&E's website.
Traffic & Road Closures
Flooding or fallen trees may cause traffic back-ups and road closures. Check the City of Mill Valley's Website and City of Sausalito's website for Road Closures and Traffic.
Drive with Caution:
- When driving in the rain, use extra caution and always have your headlights on. Remember, if you turn on your windshield wipers, turn on your headlights.
- Please obey the speed limits and follow other traffic at a safe distance.
- If traffic signals are out or flashing red, come to a full stop at every intersection, and proceed as you would at a four-way stop.
Stock up on Sandbags
We urge residents to take preparedness measures by seeking sand and sandbags should they need them. Watch a video on how to fill and place sandbags.
Sand and bags can be purchased at local hardware stores. Sand and sandbags may also be located at the following locations:*
Mill Valley Residents (3 locations):
- Fire Station #7, 1 Hamilton Drive
- Boyle Park, 47 Thalia Street
- At the intersection of Molino Drive at Cascade Drive
Sausalito Residents (2 locations):
- Sausalito Corps Yard, 530 Nevada Street
- MLK / Park School, 610 Coloma Street
Strawberry & Alto Residents:
- Miland Drive, first left off of Seminary, by the 7-11. Sand is located next to the fire road gate approximately 500 ft up the hill on the left
Tam Valley Residents:
- Tennessee Valley Road at Marin Avenue, across from TCSD
*These locations have limited stockpiles of sand and sandbags for emergency use during the rainy season. To use these stockpiles, you must supply your own labor, shovels and support.
Please note that the safety of our citizens is the first priority of City work crews, and that replenishing the sand pile and bags may become a lower priority during a storm event. If you have questions or comments please call your local Department of Public Works.
Please also be aware that precipitation can increase the potential for mudslides on steeper terrain. If you see significant runoff on a slope that is not typically used for drainage, it could be due to a blockage or diversion of water from its regular course somewhere upstream. Please report these instances to Public Works. If you feel that the situation constitutes an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
- Sausalito Residents: Please call (415) 289-4106 or call the Southern Marin Fire District (415) 388-8182.
- Mill Valley Residents: Please call (415) 384-4800 or call the Southern Marin Fire District (415) 388-8182.
- Marin County Residents: Please call (415) 473-7388 or call the Marin County Fire Department (415) 499-6717.
- If it is an emergency - Call 911.
High tides, combined with high run-off sometimes leads to flooding on lower Miller Avenue and Camino Alto, as well as the Redwood Hwy Frontage Road. Please click here for High Tide information.
How to stay informed during winter storms?
Sign up for alerts and warnings. We will post regular updates to the www.smfd.org website.