City of Oakland Prepares for Winter Weather, Provides Safety Preparation Information for Residents and Businesses

Date Posted: November 20th, 2018 @ 3:52 PM
Last Updated: November 20th, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

Oakland, CA Oakland’s forecasted rainy weather is a helpful reminder that winter will arrive in a matter of weeks, and could bring with it rainy or stormy weather that City workers, residents and business owners can all prepare for now.

What to Expect

Every year, Oakland prepares for winter storms. Oakland Public Works and Department of Transportation crews have been making advance preparations to help mitigate weather impacts and enable City crews to respond as effectively as possible to any requests for services. City crews are in the process of:

  • Cleaning storm drains, inlets, culverts and drainage structures
  • Laying down plastic tarp and sandbags in areas that have seen previous mudslides or flooding
  • Coordinating planning efforts with other agencies in the region

Preparedness Tips for Residents and Businesses

Simple preparation steps taken now can go a long way toward lessening the impact of weather-related and other emergencies. Members of the public should review their emergency plans and prepare their families, homes, and vehicles. Here are some suggested simple steps:

  • Clear your gutters and downspouts; ensure downspouts are working and pointing away from your house
  • Keep your curbs and sidewalk gutters clear of leaves and debris (and please dispose of in your green bins – not sweep them into the gutter)
  • Check the storm drain near your house and use a rake to keep it clear of debris (see Adopt-a-Drain information on the next page of this release)
  • Check that backflow prevention devices on sewer laterals/cleanouts are functioning properly – or consult a plumber to have one installed.
  • Trim trees on your property to help them handle wind and rain; call a certified arborist to inspect your trees if you observe unusual leaning or dead branches
  • Check out your local hardware store for flood prevention tools and techniques such as using sandbags to divert water away from your property or prevent it from coming in through doors and basement windows
  • Review your property insurance; if you don’t have flood insurance, consider getting it now – it takes 30 days to take effect
  • Review emergency procedures and evacuation plans at your children’s schools
  • Make sure you have emergency supplies to last for at least three days, including enough water, food, medicine and other supplies for family members and pets

In the event of flood conditions, please be careful and safe by avoiding walking, riding or driving across standing water

Volunteer with Adopt-a-Drain to Help Minimize Flooding

Residents and businesses can help minimize flooding in their neighborhood by volunteering with the City’s Adopt-A-Drain program to keep a storm drain near their home or business free of debris. About 1,100 storm drains are currently adopted by Oaklanders, but many thousands more are waiting to be adopted. By signing up, you will receive storm notification emails before large storm events, and the City can provide rakes, brooms, dust pans, bags and other supplies. Remember: “Clear the drain before the rain.” To sign up, visit or call (510) 238-7630.

Free Sandbags

Oakland Public Works is providing residents and businesses with emergency sandbags (up to 10 per household) and plastic sheeting (up to 20 feet per household) while supplies last, to help divert runoff away from buildings and to help prevent flooding and mudslides:

Municipal Service Center, 7101 Edgewater Drive

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Drainage Services Facility, 5921 Shepherd Canyon Road

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

How to Report Flood-Related or Storm-Related Problems

Please keep these numbers handy for emergencies, and share them with neighbors:

For storm-related emergency issues on public property and in the public right-of-way (such as flooding, mudslides, landslides, and manholes overflowing onto streets and sidewalks), contact OAK 311. Dial 311 from any phone within Oakland or call 510-615-5566.

For non-emergencies, OAK 311 can also be contacted in other ways:

For downed power lines or if you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately and then call 9-1-1 or PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

For power outage alerts go online to alerts.

For water service emergencies (e.g., no water service, broken hydrants, broken water main pipes), contact EBMUD at 1-866-403-2683.

For life-threatening emergencies, call 9-1-1 from a land line or (510) 777-3211 from a cell phone.

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Media Contact

Sean Maher, Public Information Officer

(510) 238-6358