How to prep for storms in San Jose

Make sure you have everything you need.

A small car and a police car are parked on a rainy, wet street as hail bombards the road.

When it rains in San Jose, it pours.

Photo courtesy @quinn_norton

This winter has already been exceptionally wet in San Jose — and with more storms on the horizon, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

The city and county have put together resources and tips for residents to protect themselves and get the relief they need.


  • Monitor the local forecast at the National Weather Service’s website. You can also sign up for Santa Clara County’s AlertSCC program for immediate and up-to-date information from the county’s emergency services.
  • Secure any loose outdoor items, and keep sidewalks and curbsides clear.
  • Place sandbags in front of doors to divert running water. Free sandbags can be picked up at any of Santa Clara County’s multiple dropoff locations.
  • Unplug and elevate electric appliances, if possible.
  • Have an emergency supply kit and a plan ready in the event of an evacuation.


  • Refrain from driving and stay indoors, especially at night. If you do travel, check conditions on the CalTrans map beforehand.
  • Do not walk or drive through flooded roadways.
  • Call 911 only for emergencies. Downed trees and street flooding should be reported to 311.


  • If you have concerns about a downed tree or fallen limb on your property, the city has guidance on what steps to take.
  • Report power outages and other issues to the San Jose Department of Transportation at 408-794-1900, or to PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. If you see downed power lines, stay away, and call 911.
  • Lost power, and need a spot to reconnect + recharge? Stop by any of the warming centers around the South Bay, complete with heated rooms, Wi-Fi, and power outlets. Note: Most locations only allow service animals, so check ahead before bringing Fido along.
  • In the event of an outage, keep your refrigerator + freezer closed, and disconnect appliances plugged directly into the wall.
  • If it appears the road ahead is flooded — especially if it appears to be deeper than 6 in — turn around and try another route.
  • Power outage affecting a nearby intersection? If traffic signals are out — or flashing red — treat the intersection as if it was a four-way stop sign.