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Where to get information on free sandbag locations across SoCal

As Californians brace for the next February storm taking aim for SoCal, fire stations in different counties across the Southland are offering free sand and sandbags to help combat anticipated flooding.

Earlier this month, a winter storm dumped measurable rain that broke several records in Southern California. As the region continues to recover from potholes and mudslides in vulnerable areas, another system is set to deliver more rainfall as soon as early Monday.

Fire departments in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura County are providing sandbags to help residents prepare for upcoming rainstorms. Here’s a breakdown by county of where to get information on how to obtain the free resources.

Los Angeles County

Angelenos are able to get free sand or bags at select fire stations with proof of residency, according to its Public Works department. Those who would like to obtain the free resources must pick up the sand and/or bags in the city or community they reside in.

For an interactive map to find your nearest location, click here.

Orange County

According to the Orange County Fire Authority, most stations have empty sandbags available. Select locations have both sand and sandbags for residents.

For a list of fire stations that have both resources available, click here.

Ventura County

To help residents brace for possible flooding, the Ventura County Fire Department is offering sandbags at 24 stations.

To see a rundown of locations giving out sandbags to the community, click here.

Riverside County

The Riverside County Fire Department notes that sandbags are available in limited quantities in all stations. Bags and sand are being offered in these locations. To find your local station, use the Riverside County Fire Station website.

San Bernardino County

The county offers instructions on how to properly place sandbags around your property to maximize its protection.

Several locations are offering free sandbags around San Bernardino County. To find your nearest location, click here.

How to properly use sandbags

When used properly, sandbags can effectively prevent water from entering buildings. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services or Cal EOS has provided a list of safety tips to use sandbags. 

  • Wearing protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses or goggles.  
  • Filling sandbags no more than two-thirds to allow room for stacking and reduce bursting.  
  • Stacking bags correctly like laying bricks. 
  • Monitoring water levels and condition of the sandbags. If water levels rise or bags burst, it is recommended to evacuate the area. 
  • Using bags appropriately to avoid plugging drains or redirecting water to other properties. Bags should be placed around the perimeter of the building to prevent or divert water from entering.

SoCal residents can also find their local fire station through the Public Works website.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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