Storms and Flooding

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Where do I get Sandbags?

In the event of flooding, residents can access sandbags 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. at local fire stations. Before arriving, please contact the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD). The Fire Department Sandbag program has limited resources. It is the property owner's responsibility to prepare and prevent storm damage of property. Please follow guidelines for the use and placement of sandbags:  For a list of countywide fire stations that have sandbags, click here Sand and sandbags may also be purchased from the following local retailers:

  1. Ace Hardware - Thousand Oaks  1934 E. Avenida De Los Arboles (805) 267-1785
  2. Carlson's Building Materials, Inc - Thousand Oaks  1432 Thousand Oaks Blvd. (805) 495-3711
  3. DIY Home Center- Thousand Oaks 3775 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. (805) 497-2753
  4. Home Depot- Newbury Park 2745 Teller Road (805) 375- 6680
  5. Lowe's- Newbury Park 1027 Academy Drive (805) 214-5510

How To Use Sandbags

  1. Fill sandbags half-full. Use sand if it is available, but any local soil may be used and if possible, use close-weave burlap bags.
  2. Remove debris and obstructions from the area where the sandbags will be placed and place the sandbags to redirect water, mud or debris, not dam it
  3. When placing sandbags, fold the top of the sandbag down and rest the bag on its folded top.
  4. The half-filled bags should be placed lengthwise and parallel to the direction of the water flow. Stamp on the bags as they are placed to eliminate gaps.
  5. Do not place sandbags directly against the outer wall of a building. Wet bags can create added pressure on the foundation.
  6. Sandbags should be placed in staggered layers. Limit the layers to three unless the sandbags are braced or stacked in pyramids.
  7. It takes time to construct a wall of sandbags. Plan ahead! It is much easier to place sandbags before you are dealing with heavy runoff.

Before the Storm

To be prepared, please download a Homeowner's Guide  for Flooding, Debris and Erosion Control or Local Rain and Flooding Preparedness To be alerted to local emergency incidents, register yourself and your family for VC Alert  For weather and flooding guidance, visit the National Weather Service.

  • Assemble emergency supplies for your home and place of work and monitor local weather reports.
  • Store emergency building materials in a location away from potential flooding.
  • Store a seven-day supply of water (at least one gallon per person, per day) in closed, clean containers.
  • Do not allow children to play in or near rivers, streams, or other areas of potential flooding.
  • Maintain fuel in vehicles; electrical outages might make gasoline pumps inoperable.
  • Identify safe routes from your home or work place to high, safe ground. Determine whether you can use these routes during flooding or storms. Be familiar with your geographic surroundings and review your home flood insurance policy through the FEMA National Map Program.
  • Clear debris and overgrowth from on-site drainage facilities.
  • Work with neighbors to solve potential drainage problems and to avoid diverting debris onto their properties. Consult a licensed civil engineer if you are unsure.

Storm Warning

  • Relocate valuables from lower to upper floors.
  • Be prepared to move to a safe area before flood waters cut off access when local authorities advise.
  • Identify an out-of-state contact so that friends and relatives can obtain information about your condition and whereabouts.
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances or turn off electric circuits at the fuse panel or circuit breaker panel before evacuating.
  • Shut off gas service at the meter and water service at the main valve.

During the Storm

  • Avoid unnecessary trips.
  • Do not drive or walk through moving water.
  • Do not "sightsee" or enter restricted areas.
  • Stay away from streams, rivers, flood control channels, and other areas subject to sudden flooding.
  • Move to higher ground if you're caught by rising waters.
  • Abandon your vehicle immediately if it stalls. Seek higher ground. Attempts to move stalled vehicles have caused many deaths.
  • Listen to the radio or watch television for information and instructions.
  • Use the phone only to report dangerous conditions or emergencies that are life threatening.

After the Storm

  • Visit and listen to KCLU 88.3 FM KNX 1070 AM for updates
  • Call utility companies to restore service.
  • Do not use fresh or canned foods that have come in contact with flood waters.
  • Follow the instructions of local officials regarding the safety of drinking water. Boil or purify water if you're in doubt. Pump out wells and test the water before drinking.
  • Avoid going to areas damaged by the storm.
  • Stay away from live electrical equipment in wet areas. Check electrical equipment or appliances that may have come in contact with water before using them.
  • Maintain a safe distance from downed power lines and broken gas lines; immediately report them to the appropriate utility.
  • Use flashlights, rather than lanterns, candles, or matches, to check on the condition of buildings.
  • Flammables may be present.