Storm Season Safety: Where to Find Sandbags 02.05.24


As a series of storms impact the state, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and local partners are coordinating sandbag locations in impacted counties. Cal OES continues to monitor the weather around the clock for possible impacts to communities and reminds all Californians to stay prepared for possible flooding. Sandbags can reduce the risk of damage to property.  

Sandbags are often provided by local government. Contact your city, county, fire department or public works agency to find out where you can get sandbags in your area. Double check what materials they may or may not provide.  

See current sandbag locations below and proper use instructions: 

Calaveras  Arnold Maintenance Yard  1119 Linebaugh Rd  Arnold 
Calaveras  Glencoe Maintenance Yard  16151 Highway 26  Glencoe 


Jenny Lind Yard  11558 Milton Rd  Valley Springs 


San Andreas Rd Yard  891 Mountain Ranch Rd  San Andreas 


Mountain Ranch Community Center Parking Lot  7869 Whiskey Slide Rd  Mountain Ranch 


Murphys Fire Station  37 Jones Street




Valley Springs Vista Del Lago cul-de-sac  313 Vista Del Lago  Valley Springs 


Copperopolis Fire Department  370 Main Street  Copperopolis 
El Dorado  Fire Station 85  1050 Wilson Boulevard  El Dorado Hills 
El Dorado  Fire Station 89  3200 County Club Drive  Cameron Park 
El Dorado  Fire Rescue Station 3 2101 Lake Tahoe Blvd. South Lake Tahoe
El Dorado  El Dorado County Department of Transportation 3671 Missouri Flat Rd.  Diamond Springs
El Dorado  Garden Valley Fire Protection District 4860 Marshall Rd.  Garden Valley
El Dorado  Mosquito Fire Protection District 8801 Rock Creek Rd. Placerville
Fresno  County Public Works Yard  Multiple Locations   
Glenn    across from the Fire Dept. on 1st St.  Hamilton 


Public Works Willows Maintenance Yard  777 N. Colusa St.  Willows 


Orland City Maintenance Yard  Corner of County Road 200 and County Road M. 


Imperial Fire Station 2 1078 Dogwood Road Heber
Imperial Fire Station 5 112 Highway 78 Palo Verde
Imperial Fire Station 7 8071 Luxor Avenue Nilad
Imperial Fire Station 8 518 Railroad Avenue Winterhaven
Kern Public Works Yard Multiple Locations  
Kings   900 S. 10th Ave Hanford
Kings   750 North Ave Corcoran
Kings Fire Station 6 7735 21st Ave Lemoore
Kings   Corner of F and Fox Street Lemoore
Kings   108 W Kings Street Avenal
Kings   20200 Main Street Stratford
Los Angeles   Multiple Locations  
Mariposa  Mormon Bar Fire Station 4621 Highway 49 South  Mariposa 


Station 24 9729 Merced Falls Rd.  La Grange 


Station 26 10293 Ferry Rd  Coulterville 


Station 23  2820 Highway 140  Catheys Valley 
Marin   Multiple Locations  
 Merced    multiple locations  
 Napa    multiple locations  
Nevada   Nevada County Warehouse  the corner of Highway 49 and East Broad Street  Nevada City 


Penn Valley Fire Protection District  10513 Spenceville Road  Penn Valley 


North San Juan Community Hall  10057 Reservoir Street  North San Juan 


Higgins Fire Department  10106 Combie Road  Auburn 
Orange  (Bag Only) 2301 N. Glassell St.  Orange
Placer    Multiple Locations   
Riverside   Multiple Locations  
Sacramento   Multiple Locations  
San Bernardino   Multiple Locations  
San Deigo   Multiple Locations  
San Luis Obispo (Most locations are sand only) Multiple Locations  
Santa Clara  Public Utilities Multiple Locations  
Santa Cruz Fire Station 2 (Parking Lot) 1103 Soquel Ave Santa Cruz
Sierra Sierra County Multiple Locations  
Sutter Multiple Locations
Tehama  Public Works Department  774 Antelope Blvd  Red Bluff 
Tehama  Red Bluff Library (BAGS ONLY)  8145th Street  Red Bluff 
Tehama    645 Madison Street  Red Bluff 
Tulare Tulare County Fire Multiple Locations
Ventura   Multiple Locations  
Yuba Yuba County Public Works Yard 1420 Sky Harbor Dr Olivehurst
Yuba Loma Rica Public Works Yard 5390 Fruitland Rd Loma Rica


Know When to use Sandbags 

Sandbags have a variety of uses, but individuals and families should know their level of risk. MyHazards can help all Californians understand the types of risks that could impact their properties and neighborhoods. Also, while building a sandbag barrier may alleviate flooding into your home, everyone should continue to follow local authorities when they issue evacuation warnings and orders. 

How to Use Sandbags 

During heavy and sustained rainfall, high water and flooding can cause damage to homes and businesses. With proper preparation, you can reduce the risk of damage to your property. Cal OES offers these reminders on how to use sandbags safely during the next storm. 

How to Fill Sandbags 

It’s important to use sandbags when you live in an at-risk area for flooding. Follow these safety tips for filling sandbags:  

Wear Protective Gear: When filling sandbags, wear gloves to protect your hands from blisters and cuts, wear safety glasses or goggles to prevent getting sand in your eyes and wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling dust particles. If you have a pre-existing respiratory condition, such as asthma, you may need to avoid filling sandbags altogether and seek assistance. 

  • Fill Sandbags Properly: Sandbags should be filled no more than one half to two-thirds full to allow room for the bags to be stacked and to prevent the bags from bursting.  
  • Bring a Partner: Filling sandbags can be tough alone. Grab a friend or relative to assist with holding the bag open and on occasion lifting the bags for transport.  
  • Sandbag Types: There are different types of materials that can be used as sandbags. Burlap and plastic are the most common and, if left unused, can be stored for a long time. The bag material can be a polypropylene, poltyethylene or a polyamide fabric. 
  • Sandbag Soil: There are different types of material to fill sandbags with such as silt, clay, gravel or a mixture of any of these. However, sand has been proven to be an optimal material to help divert the flow of water.  

 How to Use Sandbags 

When using sandbags during a flood, it is important to follow these safety tips to protect yourself and your property: 

  • Stack Sandbags Correctly: It is important to pack the sandbags tightly to create a strong barrier. When stacking sandbags, make sure to stagger the bags, much like laying bricks. This will create a stronger barrier and prevent the bags from tipping over. There are different methods of stacking which serve different functions of protection.  
  1. Single Stack: Laying sandbags down like a brick wall. This method can be affective in areas where there is no fast-moving waters or danger of debris flows. This stacking method should not go higher than 1 foot or 3 bags high.  
  1. Pyramid Placement: Laying sandbags in a pyramid formation can increase the height of sandbag protection. This method of stacking is primarily used around levees and some rivers to protect communities.  
  1. Ringing Sand Boil: Laying sandbags in a half-moon shape around a possible levee or dam seepage. This method is generally used to build up infrastructures ahead of heavy rainfall. 
  • Use Sandbags Appropriately: Sandbags should only be used to create a barrier around the perimeter of a building or to divert water away from the building. They should never be used to plug drains or to redirect water towards other properties. 
  • Monitor the Situation: Monitor water levels and the condition of the sandbags regularly. If the water level rises rapidly or the sandbags start to shift or leak, it may be time to evacuate. 
  • Replace Sandbag Materials: Used sandbag materials can degrade overtime. It’s best to replace all previously used sandbags prior to the next storm. 


Emergency Alerts  

Listos California Disaster Ready Guide  

Tips for Staying Safe in Severe Storms  

Power Outage Tips  

Generator Safety  

Food Safety in a Power Outage