Winter Storm Preparedness

Winter storms continue bringing new challenges as we recover from the storms that came with the end of 2022 and early 2023. Please take time to review preparedness information and to stay informed. 

Emergency Proclamation

During their January 11, 2023 meeting, the City Council proclaimed the existence of a local emergency for the winter storms that occurred from December 27, 2022 through January 31, 2023. View the Proclamation. The series of storms that occurred in February and March have not been declared by CalOES or FEMA as emergencies. 

Preparedness Information

  • Know your zone for evacuations and updates:
  • Sign up to get emergency alerts, important public safety updates, and notices of road closures:
  • Make sure emergency backup power generators, sump pumps, and other detention systems are in good working order.  
  • Ensure flashlights, lanterns, and candles are in an accessible location in case of a power outage.  
  • Avoid contact with floodwaters as they may be contaminated or electrically charged from downed or underground power lines.  
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company.  
  • Exercise caution when driving, adhere to any detours, warnings, or barricades, and do not drive through flooded roads. Roadways, where floodwaters have receded, may be damaged.  Please avoid being outdoors or around branches and trees. 
  • Visit the PG&E Emergency Outage Center for the latest information on power outages and estimated restoration: 
  • Properly sandbag for flood protection - watch the video below for best practices.

Take advantage of drier days to take care of private property maintenance that can prevent future flooding and falling trees, including: 

  1. Cleaning leaves and debris that may have fallen on the property or on the frontage strip in front of the property. 
  2. Clearing drains and restoring property frontage to fill any ruts and allow for proper drainage.
  3. Assessing trees for risk and maintaining them as appropriate.
  4. Checking for standing water including rain barrels and under your home. Staff from the SMC Mosquito and Vector Control District can check for mosquitoes breeding in any standing water and keep them from growing.  Mosquito control is a service covered by tax dollars. Contact the District today for one of their certified vector control technicians to check your home:


Sandbags remain available at the self-service sandbag station at Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Avenue, in the rear parking lot. Limit of 5 sandbags per residence. Due to regional shortages, our supply of sandbags is very limited.  We are working with the County Office of Emergency Management to obtain additional sandbags. For best practices on properly placing sandbags, view the County's guide here: or watch the video embedded on this page below. 

For handling, proper disposable and reuse of sandbags, visit the County's website here:

The Atherton Department of Police is strongly recommending community members “shelter in place” during peak storm hours and stay off the roads.

Additional Tips:

  • Pack a “go bag” to evacuate quickly if needed
  • Have insurance policies handy (take photos of each room in your home beforehand)
  • Prepare supplies at home in case of closed roads/power outages last for several days
  • Plan for pet needs
  • Stock up on necessary medications
  • Prepare for flooding if you’re near the Atherton Channel system

The Atherton Police Department and Public Works Department is staffed and prepared to respond to the needs of our residents during this unusual occurrence. To ensure we can respond to all critical needs during the storm, we need you to assist us by being prepared.

Sand bag station 01042023
Image: Self-service sand bag station now open at Holbrook-Palmer Park in rear parking lot, 150 Watkins Avenue.