Are You Prepared for the Winter Storm Season?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a "normal" winter this year. While we don’t know exactly how much precipitation we will get, we do know that living in areas of relative isolation means we must be prepared to be on our own for up to several days. Are you ready?
Check list suggestions from the Town of Portola Valley (for a printable pdf checklist, click here)
Go to www.smcalert.info and sign up to receive alerts on your cell phone and email. You will be notified quickly of floods, fires, road closures, mountain lion sightings, planned events with traffic disruptions, etc.
Tune your portable and car radios to 1680 AM for emergency broadcasts from the Town of Portola Valley. To listen to a streaming online broadcast, visit http://bit.ly/AM1680PortolaValley
Plan now for extended power outages that may last several days or longer.
When roads are closed due to flooding, trees down or mudslides, you may need to leave your area by a different route than you are accustomed to. Learn these routes now, before you need them. Make arrangements to temporarily stay with family or friends should you need to evacuate your home.
Always maintain at least a half a tank of gas in your vehicles.
30 minute storm drain prep checklist (see back)
Maintain emergency supplies at home (see back)
Maintain a “Go-Bag” near exit door or in your car (see back)
- For emergencies dial 911
- Town of Portola Valley- Public Works Department (650) 851-1700 x 200
- San Mateo County Sheriff (650) 363-4911
- Woodside Portola Valley Fire District (650) 851-1594
Fix leaks in ceilings/roofs or replace roof
Seal foundation cracks with mortar or masonry caulking
Invest in a battery-powered sump pump and test pumps
Move expensive items to safer location
Anchor fuel tanks so they won’t float away
Stock up on sandbags
Take digital pictures of insurance policies for storage
30 minute home storm drain inspection checklist
Prepare with rain boots, gloves, flashlight, rake, and shovel
Check if rain gutters and roof drains are clear of debris
Walk around property and inspect all storm pipes, drains, grates and remove and dispose of all tree lose debris that could backup water flow
Check all surface drains and French drains
Inspect drainage ditches through your property to determine that they are free and clear. Inspect with your neighbors.
Check all retaining walls for cracks, subsidence, overtopping, and drainage
Clean storm drain pipes under your driveway. You should clearly see daylight at the other end of the pipe.
If a storm drain pipe or drainage ditch is blocked by dirt, labor may needed to dig out the outlet to let it flush out
Re-inspect and clean the above items during and after heavy storm events throughout the rain season
Inspect hillsides for erosion. Consider using straw wattles and straw erosion blankets for problem hillsides
Check watercourses. Watercourses on your property shall be kept free of debris according to Town ordinance
“Go-Bag” Near Exit Door or in Car
in sealable plastic bags
Copies of important papers
Fully charged electronics
Matches or lighter in sealable plastic bags
Flashlights with extra batteries
Portable radio with extra batteries
Extra undergarments and socks in sealable plastic bags
Sweater or sweatshirt
Writing pad and pencils
Towel in sealed bag
First Aid kit
Emergency Supplies at Home
One gallon of water per person per day for up to 5-7 days
Enough food (not requiring refrigeration) for up to 5-7 days
Plenty of battery powered flashlights/lanterns
Portable radio, battery and/or crank powered
First Aid kit and extra batteries for lights and radios
An exit plan for your family to meet if separated
Plans for feeding/evacuating pets & large animals
Camping gear/tents (for backyard if house uninhabitable)
Trash bags (WAG bags preferably) to line toilet for waste disposal if sewer and/or water is out of service
Flooded streets and returning home after a flood
Do not drive where water is covering the road. You can be
stranded or trapped. Parts of the road may be washed out.
Do not try to cross waters of unknown depth. The water may be much deeper than it looks. Avoid dips and low spots.
If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it as soon as
possible. Floodwater can rise rapidly and sweep a car away.
Return home when authorities say it is safe.
Let qualified specialists inspect your home and make repairs to utility and structural damage before re-entering.
Portola Valley Sandbag Station Location
765 Portola Road, Portola Valley Town Center along its southern driveway, across from the basketball courts. The station is accessible daily and will remain available through the end of the rainy season with sand bags, sand, and shovels. Please go to the News section at http://www.portolavalley.net for more information.
How you can help the Town’s Public Works Department
You can help the Town by keeping an eye on the street drains and small drainage ditches in front of your home or on your street. Many drainage problems are caused by floating leaf debris and silt blocking a drain entrance and can be easily removed with a rake or shovel in a matter of minutes. By stopping blockages before they begin, your help would save the Town a lot of time and potential flooding of the street. The Town also has a volunteer Public Works Committee that assists after hours to address street issues. Larger maintenance problems should be reported to the Public Works Department at 650-851-1700 x 200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how to prepare for winter storm emergencies:
• Current fire dispatch response times: www.firedispatch.com
If you are interested in joining the Citizens Emergency Response Preparedness Program which serves Portola Valley, please go to: http://www.cerpp.org/volunteering/
If you are interested in joining the Town’s Volunteer Public Works Committee, please email email@example.com