Storm Season Safety: Where to Find Sandbags 02.08.24


As a series of storms have impacted multiple California communities, lingering effects continue to be seen statewide.

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 impacts to communities and reminds all Californians to stay prepared. Sandbags 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 
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. 


Kern Public Works Yard 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 
 Merced    multiple locations  
San Joaquin Multiple Locations  
Tulare Tulare County Fire Multiple Locations


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