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Ross Valley Fire News

News from Ross Valley Fire Department, serving Fairfax, San Anselmo, Ross, and Sleepy Hollow in Marin county, CA.

UPDATED! Winter Storm: FLASH FLOOD Watch and HIGH WIND Warning

FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING TO SUNDAY EVENING!

SEVERE WEATHER ADVISORY: The National Weather Service has issued a FLASH FLOOD WATCH and High Wind Warning for Thursday through Sunday.  Forecasters predict heavy rainfall and strong gusty winds developing Thursday, continuing through Monday. North Bay rainfall could approach 12 inches in some North Bay mountain locations, with 3-6 inches of rain expected locally.  Heavy rain should be expected Thursday night as well.  Possible impacts include trees uprooted, power lines down, flooding, mudslides, and traffic impacts.

Ross Valley Fire Depatment strongly encourages businesses and residents to prepare for the upcoming storm. The following lists potential issues and resources available to help you prepare for the many issues this storm may present.  Flooding – If your home or business is in a low-lying area with a history of flooding, please take the time now to prepare for the possibility of flooding: 

 

Know Your Flood Hazard:

Protect People and Property:

Build Responsibly:

Learn More About Flood Control:

  • Please do not leave piles of leaves in the roadway. Please rake them up and place them in your green bin for disposal. Leaves left in the street will block storm drains and may lead to flooding.
  • More information on high tides and flooding information can be found here.

Power Outages

  • Have flashlights and battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages. Tune in to KQED 88.5 FM, KCBS 740 AM or KGO 810 AM.
  • Fire Officials recommend that residents do not use candles because of the risk of fire. Use battery-powered light sources.
  • Click here for more useful tips.
  • Anticipate power outages and bookmark PG&E’s power outage page.

Downed Trees and Limbs:

  • If the tree is on private property or has fallen onto private property contact the property owner.
  • If the tree is touching electrical wires contact PG&E at 800-743-500 or non-emergency dispatch at 415-442-4526.
  • If the tree or limb is causing an immediate danger, call 911 from any land or mobile phone.
  • If the tree or limb is blocking a public right of way or roadway, contact your local Department of Public Works (Mill Valley, Sausalito, Marin County).

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.
  • Do not drive through standing water. Only 6 inches of water can be enough to stall your car and cause irreparable damage to the engine.
  • Please anticipate road closures and traffic back-ups due to flooding, downed trees or landslides. Check traffic conditions before you hit the road.

Landslides

If you live in a landslide prone area consider hiring a geologist that specializes in slide risk assessment to complete a ground study of your property. Learn to recognize potential landslide warning signs:

  • Changes occur in your landscape such as patterns of storm-water drainage on slopes
  • Water breaks through the ground surface in new locations
  • Bulging ground appears at the base of a slope
  • New cracks appear in plaster, tile, brick, or foundations
  • Fences, retaining walls, utility poles and trees tilt or move
  • Collapsed pavement, mud or fallen rock along roadways

How can you minimize your landslide risks?

  • Regularly inspect your property for land movement, retaining wall failures and blocked drainage routes
  • Meet with your neighbors to discuss and repair mutual drainage problems 
  • Prepare an escape route in case you need to evacuate your home because of a slide above or below you

If you discover any earth movement or landslide, immediately leave the area and notify neighbors and emergency services by dialing 911.

Create/Check Your Emergency Kit

A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Click here for more information.

Businesses

How quickly your company can get back to business after an emergency often depends on planning done today.  Ross Valley Fire Department encourages all business owners to start planning now to improve the likelihood that your company will survive and recover.

  • Develop a continuity of operations plan. Carefully assess how your company functions to determine which staff materials, procedures and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating.
  • Review emergency communications with staff. Set up a telephone calling tree or email alert to communicate with employees, designate an out-of-town phone number for employees to call, give employees wallet-cards with important phone numbers.
  • Review how to decide to stay or go. Have an Evacuation Plan and a Shelter-In-Place Plan.

Sign up for Nextdoor

Stay Informed

In an emergency, communication is crucial to the safety of all residents and businesses. Please bookmark or sign up for the communications methods listed below:

  • We will provide updates about the storm as needed. 
  • Emergency officials use the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) to deliver incident-specific information or potentially life-saving instruction to the precise geographic area(s) affected. Sign up for TENS emergency alerts.
  • Sign up for Nextdoor- a private, neighborhood-based social network.

When to call 911

  • In an emergency, call 911 immediately from any wired or wireless phone. An emergency is any situation
    that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance such as a fire, a car crash (especially if someone is injured), or a medical emergency where a person is requiring immediate medical attention.
  • If you hear the Town's Emergency Siren, do not call 911.  Instead, look for immediate danger, move to high ground if you are in a flood zone, and tune in to KQED 88.5 FM, KCBS 740 AM or KGO 810 AM and local TV stations for further information.

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Our Mission

To protect the lives, property and environment of Ross, San Anselmo, Sleepy Hollow and Fairfax through education, prevention and community service in a professional and caring manner that is fair, honest, respectful and ethical.

Contact Us

Ross Valley Fire Department
777 San Anselmo Avenue
San Anselmo, CA 94960 USA
Tel: (415) 258-4686

For Emergencies, Dial 9-1-1