Power lines down

Emergency Preparedness

Contact

City Manager
cityhall@sonomacity.org

City Hall
#1 The Plaza
Sonoma CA 95476
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - Noon
1:00 pm - 5 pm

Emergency Preparedness

The City of Sonoma responds to natural and man-made emergencies that occur within City limits, and works cooperatively with neighboring agencies to address emergency issues throughout Sonoma Valley.  The City's Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) sets a framework that guides the actions that City officials and employees will take in emergency situations associated with large-scale disasters affecting the City of Sonoma.

A key component of community preparedness is the extent to which its residents and businesses have themselves planned for what to do in the case of an emergency. Take time to review resources for disaster preparedness, including how to be ready for an extended power outage.

The S.C.O.P.E (Sonoma Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies) program provides guidelines and training for neighbors to work together to prepare for disasters. Contact Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue for more information and upcoming S.C.O.P.E training dates.

Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

Sign up to receive alerts to your phone and/or email.  For SoCo Alert, use the link or call (707)565-1369 for more information.  For Nixle, use the link or TEXT YOUR ZIP CODE TO 888777 to opt in for mobile alerts.  Alerts for PG&E planned power shutoffs are available whether or not you are the account holder. Make sure your family, friends, and neighbors also sign up!

Where to go for Emergency Warnings and Updates:

Social media can play an important role in sharing information before, during, and after emergencies, and if you are active on social media it's a good idea to follow facebook pages for the City of Sonoma, Sonoma Police Department, Sonoma Valley Fire & RescueCounty of Sonoma, Sonoma Valley Hospital and Sonoma Sheriff.  You can also follow the Sonoma Sheriff and County of Sonoma on twitter. The City of Sonoma may also share information through Nextdoor.  Due to potential delays in posting information, please do not rely on social media as your primary notification of a local emergency.

In the City of Sonoma and the rest of Sonoma County, public safety vehicles are outfitted with Hi/Lo sirens, which offer a different sound than traditional sirens, and will be used to alert residents to evacuate. This 2-tone siren will only be used in an emergency to alert residents within specific areas of the need to evacuate. If you hear the Hi/Lo, it’s time to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

If flood alerts are issued for Sonoma Creek and its tributaries, the City will have a limited
number of sandbags available free of charge during normal business hours.  Visit our sandbag instructions page for details.

Visit our Emergency Preparedness page to sign up for alerts through Nixle and SoCo Alerts, learn how you can participate in training with S.C.O.P.E. (Sonoma Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies), and review a variety of resources on steps you can take now to get your family, home, and pets prepared for emergencies.
You can also register as an emergency volunteer.  The Sonoma Community Center serves as our community’s Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC).  The EVC registers volunteers and, in the event of a disaster, takes requests for volunteers and matches them to where they are needed.

During an emergency, disruptions to electricity, internet service, or cell service can impact the ways we communicate and receive information.  Some important reminders:

  • During a prolonged power outage, the ability of public safety officials to reach you using traditional alert and warning tools may be limited.  In the City of Sonoma and the rest of Sonoma County, public safety vehicles are outfitted with Hi/Lo sirens, which offer a different sound than traditional sirens, and will be used to alert residents to evacuate. This 2-tone siren will only be used in an emergency to alert residents within specific areas of the need to evacuate. If you hear the Hi/Lo, it’s time to go.
  • Our community radio station, KSVY at 91.3 FM, is an excellent source for updates during an emergency through use of your car radio or battery-powered radio. (KSVY also has an app that can be downloaded to your phone).
  • Keep your cell phone charged by using a portable charging battery or power bank. Use of texts, rather than phone calls, reduces the drain on your battery. In an extended power outage, the City and County may open a device-charging station at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building, 126 1st St West, which has generator power.  In a Public Safety Power Shutoff, PG&E may also open a “community resource center” in our area for charging devices.
  • Cell service may be temporarily lost or degraded in some areas during a power outage. Most cellular carriers have backup generators or batteries to keep towers operational even when the local power grid goes down, but recent experience has shown that coverage can be spotty. If a neighbor has a different carrier than you, their cell phone may be working even when yours is not.
  • VoIP systems (phone service that requires an internet connection) typically provide only a few hours of standby service when the power goes out, and then only if they’re equipped with an in-home battery backup and only if your internet service stays operational. If you have a Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) landline phone from the phone company, you should still have phone service when you lose electricity — but if you only have cordless phones connected, those won’t work during a power outage because the unit requires electricity. Talk with your neighbors to learn who has a traditional corded landline phone. Keep a hard copy of phone numbers for your key contacts that are stored on your cell phone.
  • Most City facilities have at least some generator power and, to the extent possible, will remain open in an extended power outage during business hours to serve customers and answer questions. In an extended power outage or other emergency, the City will also attempt to provide updates in printed form using posters, notice boards, or other signage at City Hall and other locations around town.

If you have difficulty reaching 9-1-1, keep in mind these options:

If you are having a medical emergency, go to the Sonoma Valley Hospital Emergency Room, 347 Andrieux Street. The hospital has an emergency generator in the event of power outage.

If you are having a public safety emergency, go to the Police Department, 175 First Street West. The Police Department will be open during normal business hours. Outside of normal business hours, there is an accessible phone.

Go to your local firehouse to report an emergency. Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority firehouses will be open during normal business hours. Outside of normal business hours, there is an accessible phone outside that connects to dispatch.

    • Station #1 – 630 2nd St W, Sonoma, CA 95476
    • Station #2 – 877 Center St, Sonoma, CA 95476
    • Station #3 – 1 Agua Caliente Rd W, Sonoma, CA 95476
    • Station #4 – 18798 Prospect Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476
    • Station #5 – 13445 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA

 

Download the PG&E Flyer
Click to Download Guide

As part of their Community Wildfire Safety Program, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is implementing additional precautionary measures to help reduce the risk of wildfires. If extreme fire danger conditions threaten a portion of the electric system serving your community, it may be necessary to turn off electricity in the interest of public safety. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

Additional information can be found on the Preparing for Extended Power Outages page.

To report localized flooding in Sonoma city limits during regular business hours Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m, call the City of Sonoma Public Works Department  707-938-3332. To report flooding after regular business hours, call the Sonoma Police Department Non-Emergency Dispatch at 707-996-3601. IN AN EMERGENCY CALL 9-1-1.

It is important to plan ahead.

  1. Update your contact information with PG&E at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or call 1-866-743-6589. If you use a medical or life support device to treat ongoing medical conditions, apply for PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program. If you qualify, you’ll receive a lower rate on your monthly energy bill and receive extra notifications in advance of a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
  2. Follow FEMA’s recommendations in its Power Outage Information Sheet
  3. Review and update the ADA National Network’s Emergency Power Planning Checklist every 6 months

During a Public Safety Power Shutoff, PG&E may open a Community Resource Center at Hanna Boys Center where devices can be charged. During an extended power outage, the City of Sonoma and Sonoma County may open a device charging center during daytime hours at the Sonoma Veteran’s Memorial Building.

Disability Services & Legal Center (DSLC) is able to provide back up batteries that last 48 hours, and other services to assist to those individuals and seniors with a disability who are on MediCal. For additional information, contact Juan Orantes at 707-636-3065 or jorantes@mydslc.org  and visit http://mydslc.org/slider/psps-battery-back-ups/ .

Learn more about ways you can prepare at Sonoma Valley Hospital’s page on Managing Health Conditions at Home During a Power Outage and on the Preparing for Extended Power Outages page of this website.

2-1-1 (or 211) is a free service that connects community members to information about a wide range of critical health and human services available in their community.  2-1-1 Sonoma County is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 2-1-1 utilizes both bilingual Call Specialists and a phone-based translation service to offer 2-1-1 information and referral in over 150 languages. 2-1-1 also provides incident specific information during times of disaster, including road closures and shelters.  TO ACCESS 2-1-1 BY PHONE: Dial 2-1-1 from a landline or cell phone in Sonoma County or by dialing our toll-free number (800-325-9604). BY TEXT: Text your zip code to 898-211. ONLINE: Search the 2-1-1 resource database online at 211sonoma.org .

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is expanding its Community Wildfire Safety Program. This includes proactively turning off electric power for safety (Public Safety Power Shutoff) when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted, to help reduce the likelihood of an ignition.  Learn more about Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) at prepareforpowerdown.com.

A Red Flag Warning is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours.  A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire. A Fire Weather Watch is one level below a warning, but fire danger is still high.  Learn more from CAL FIRE.

Sonoma Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies, or S.C.O.P.E., is a program of the Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority that includes emergency response, community preparedness, utility safety, and fire prevention.  Visit SVFRA’s website to learn how you can participate in upcoming community training sessions.

Among the questions to consider in preparing for an extended power outage:

How will I receive warnings and alerts about planned power outages?  When possible, PG&E will notify customers in advance of a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff.  Register for PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Shutoff Alerts.  Links to PG&E “look-up” resources on possible/current outages can be found on our Extended Power Outages page.  Be sure to also register for emergency alerts at both SoCo Alerts and Nixle to receive notifications about other emergencies that may affect your safety.  Learn more about Sonoma County’s Emergency Alert and Warning Tools.

Have I assembled my emergency kit(s)?  Whether you decide to relocate or remain at home during an extended power outage, it is important to have collected items you’ll need. Learn more at   SoCo Emergency’s Build a Kit page.

Have I considered the possible impacts of an extended power outage on my daily needs?   Power outages may affect things you may not have considered, like communications, electric gates and garage door openers, gas pumps, and ATM machines.  If you use Electricity and Battery-Dependent Assistive Technology and Medical Devices (e.g., ventilators, apnea monitors, dialysis machines), it is especially important to plan ahead.  Learn more at the Extended Power Outages page.  Visit the SoCo Emergency Power Outage page for additional information and lists of things you can do ahead of time to get ready for the potential loss of power, if PG&E is planning to turn off your electricity within the next 48 hours, and/or if your power is already out.  

A combination of criteria are used by PG&E in activating a Public Safety Power Shutoff, which may include a Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service, low humidity levels, forecasted sustained winds, conditions of dry fuel, and on-the-ground real-time information. The most likely electric lines to be considered for shutting off for safety will be those that pass through areas that have been designated by the CPUC as at elevated (Tier 2) or extreme (Tier 3) risk for wildfire. However, although a customer may not live or work in a high fire-threat area, their power may be shut off if their community relies upon a line that runs through an area experiencing extreme fire danger conditions. PG&E decides the location and duration of any PSPS event. During any high wind event, there may be unplanned power outages as well.

PG&E’s weather awareness page provides a 7-day PSPS potential for different zones in their service area.  Sonoma is located in Zone 3.   PG&E’s Address Look-Up Tool can help to find if your service area may be impacted by a PSPS event.  PG&E also has an online map of current outages.

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