The Town is subject to major flooding so residents should make preparations before a flood event happens and be prepared. Ross is subject to what are called 100 year storms. These are storms that have a 1% chance of occurring in any given year (not once in 100 years).
A key system among others used by the Town to alert citizens of an impending major flood emergency is the flood warning air horn siren system. This system is activated if Corte Madera Creek is near flood stage. Residents are encouraged during the winter rainy season to check the Corte Madera Creek gage (Corte Madera Creek Gage Monitor) if the creek appears to be rising at a rapid rate. The gage measures the level of water in the creek. (Be sure to refresh your webpage to make sure you receive the most accurate creek water level.)
Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters. Thus, you should know the following:
What to do before a flood
- Keep all insurance policies and a list of valuable items in a safe place
- Keep your vehicle filled with gas
- Have an emergency kit available
- Listen to your radio or television for reports of flood danger
- Plan for evacuation including where you are going to go and the route you will follow
- Prepare your home for a flood. Go to www.ready.gov, the Town website, and Ross Valley Fire Department website for more information and resources
- Purchase flood insurance (www.floodsmart.gov)
- Take photos and put on digital media of home valuables
What to do during a flood
- Do not try to walk or drive through flooded areas. Water can be deeper than it appears and water levels rise quickly. Follow official emergency evacuation routes. If your vehicle stalls in floodwater, get out quickly and move to higher ground.
- If your home is flooded, turn the utilities off until emergency officials tell you it is safe to turn them on. Do not pump the basement out until floodwater recedes. Avoid weakened floors, walls and rooftops.
- Stay away from moving water; moving water six inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Vehicles are easily swept away in just two feet of water.
- Stay away from disaster areas unless authorities ask for volunteers
- Stay away from downed power lines
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with floodwaters.
What to do after a flood
- Discard all food that came in contact with floodwaters. Canned food is alright, but thoroughly wash the can before opening.
- Discard mattresses and stuffed furniture as they cannot be adequately cleaned.
- The Health Department (Division of Public Health Services) will let you know through radio and television if your water is not safe to drink. Until your water is safe, used clean bottled water.
- Open all doors and windows. Use fans if possible to air out the building.
- Wash all clothes and linens in hot water.
- Wash dirt and mud from walls, counters and hard surfaced floors wih soap and water. Disinfect by wiping surfaces with a solution of one cup bleach per gallon of water.
FORMS, CHECKLISTS, GUIDES
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)