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Be Prepared for Flooding / Prepárese para las Inundaciones

Winter Floods Can Happen - Now is the Time to Prepare!

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Winter Floods Can Happen - Now is the Time to Prepare!

It’s important to prepare now, and each fall, for the possibility of heavy winter storms and potential flooding. With good preparation and some foresight, it’s possible to reduce the impact of storm runoff on homes and businesses in Half Moon Bay.

Click here for Half Moon Bay's general Disaster Preparation web page.




Before the Storm

  • Register for San Mateo County Alert to receive emergency alerts via text, phone

  • Prepare emergency supplies to last 72 hours. Non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, a manual can opener, and a battery-operated radio should be kept available disaster supply guide.
  • To protect from flood water - If your area is prone to flooding fill up sand bags protect your property at the City fill in station. 110 Higgins Canyon Road Half Moon Bay CA 94019.

  • Prepare an emergency/evacuation plan Often the best option is to shelter in place at home and to stay off the roads until the situation is safe.

  • Help keep storm drains in your neighborhood clear. This will help  prevent backups and localized flooding in your neighborhood. Call Half Moon Bay Public Works Maintenance at 650.726.7177 for significant blocking. (after 5pm, call the Sheriff's dispatch at 650.726.8286).
  • Know if your property is in a flood zone; consider flood insurance - click here to view FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for Half Moon Bay.  Regular homeowner's insurance policies usually don't cover flood damage, so you may want to consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your home and its contents.
  • Check the National Weather Service Half Moon Bay Forecast Page for weather updates.



During Heavy Rain, Imminent Flooding, or Flooding

  • Make sure your family and pets are safe - if there is time, move valuable household possessions off the floor.

  • Place sandbags appropriately as necessary - If a flood is imminent, property can be protected by sandbagging areas subject to the entry of water into living spaces. Half Moon Bay "self-help" sandbag distribution center (bags and sand for you to fill):
      • Train Depot below Johnston House 110 Higgins Canyon Road (for Half Moon Bay residents only)
  • Avoid flood waters - Be cautious. Flood waters rise rapidly, so be prepared to evacuate before flood waters reach your property. If dangerous flooding conditions are imminent, avoid driving a vehicle if possible.
    • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars and will cause the loss of control or stalling and a foot of water will float most vehicles.
    • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including trucks and SUVs. If you are in a stalled car, abandon it as quickly as possible. Flood waters can rise quickly and sweep a car away.
    • Do not attempt to move a stalled vehicle, or drive or wade through deep pockets of water.
    • If you are caught by suddenly rising waters, move to the second floor, or the roof if necessary. Wait for help. Do not swim for safety. Rescue teams will be looking for you.



  • Avoid low-lying areas - If outside, look for higher ground. Seek shelter in the highest areas possible. Unstable banks or berms should be avoided.
  • Disable utilities - If your property is in imminent danger of flooding, you may need to shut off your gas and electricity for safety. Visit PG&E online for information about how to do this. If you smell natural gas, see downed power lines, or suspect another power-related emergency situation, call 9-1-1 and then call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. Do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area and you are standing on a piece of dry wood while wearing rubber gloves and rubber soled boots or shoes. 

  • Be ready to evacuate if directed by emergency personnel - the City/County may order optional or mandatory evacuations depending upon conditions. If evacuations are called for, it is imperative that you follow instructions of emergency personnel in the time frame noted.


Stay Informed

Emergency Broadcast 

Montara to Tunitas Creek Road: KHMB 1710 AM or KHMV 100.9 FM 

Pescadero: 1680 AM.

Other radio stations: KCBS 740, KGO 810, KSJX 1500 (Vietnamese), KQED 88.5, KSOL 98.9 (Spanish), KSJO 92, and KZST 100.1

Other Flood and Disaster Preparation Resources

People with disabilities or with access and functional needs, and/or their caregivers, may also want to view this short Public Service Announcement on general preparedness produced by FEMA, and visit FEMA's web page focusing on how such individuals can make a general disaster preparedness plan and create a support network. 

Storm Preparations by the City

Like you, it's important for the City to take action to prepare for the possibility of an extra-wet winter. The City's preparations can include:

  • Maintaining maximum function of storm drains - ongoing, annual cleaning of storm drains, pressure washing and debris removal at all 39 trash capture devices, and updated inspection and cleaning of all 168 storm drains.
  • Cleaning and maintenance of identified historic problem areas including Roosevelt Creek And Kelly Avenue
  • Cleaning and maintenance work on eight storm runoff ditches
  • Reviewing and approving erosion control and storm water protection plans for current construction sites; monitoring areas subject to over-saturation and movement such as slope areas within and adjacent to City Boundaries, newly graded areas, and creek and ditch banks
  • Supporting and being involved with the Coastside Emergency Operations Center, Coastside Emergency Action Program, Coastside Emergency Corps, and the Emergency Managers Association
  • Participating in any coastside winter storm exercises
  • Funding the Office of Emergency Services Coastside District Coordinator, environmental and conceptual design of new Seymour Bridge, a detailed study of Kehoe Ditch, and and the Storm Water Master Plan in FY 2015-16 CIP
  • Entered into Public Works Mutual Aid Agreement
  • Purchased two emergency generators for KHMB radio
  • Adopted the Coastside Emergency Operations Plan
  • During storm events, City Public Works staff are on-call and periodically checking areas at risk of flooding.