Prepare for Cold Weather

Winter Is Coming
​Office of Emergency Services Monitoring Upcoming Conditions

​With night temperatures expected to drop into the upper 20s and low 30s over the next three to four days, the Sacramento Office of Emergency Services is monitoring the weather and advising residents to take winter precautions. Currently, there are no plans to open warming centers, but the situation will be carefully monitored and updates will be provided as necessary.

What You Can Do

Loved Ones:

  • Check on your family and neighbors, especially seniors and those living alone
  • Make sure your pets are secure and safe out of the elements
  • Discuss emergency plans in advance
  • Keep an emergency kit in an easy-access location

Around the House and in Your Car:

  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts
  • Store outdoor furniture, lawn equipment, decorations properly
  • Secure outdoor plants or cover with blankets or plastic to prevent freezing
  • Learn where your water shutoff valves are in case a pipe bursts
  • Do not bring heating devices in doors that are intended for outdoor use, such as barbecues or other fuel-burning devices
  • Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip during cold weather to avoid freezing
  • Prepare your auto for cold weather -  
  • Keep extra blankets, food and water in your vehicle
  • Drive safely and slowly
  • Avoid downed power lines

Find complete preparedness tips at

Helpful Numbers

Sacramento County:

  • For localized street flooding, downed trees or branches in the roadway: call 875-5171.
  • For water or drainage issues: call 875-7246. 
  • Information on creek levels:
  • For sewer issues:  875-6730.

City of Sacramento:

  • For localized street flooding, downed trees or branches in the roadway, City residents should call: 3-1-1 or 916/264-5011.

Other Information

  • For life threatening emergencies, contact 911.
  • For electrical power outages in Sacramento County contact SMUD at 1-888-456-7683 or PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

County residents can call 2-1-1 OR 916-875-5656 for more information.  Residents of the City of Sacramento can call 3-1-1.  Detailed information on this weather related event and any associated emergencies is available on line

Services to Homeless -
Complete information about services can be accessed by contacting 2-1-1. These winter services have been added to year-round services:

Next Move Winter Shelter program

  • 25 family shelter beds
  • Contact number: (916) 455-2160
  • Next Move Motel Voucher Program- Fax Number: (916) 455-2195

Volunteers of America Winter Shelter Program

  • 25 family shelter beds
  • Interviews conducted at Mary House (Loaves and Fishes), Thursdays 8:00 – 11:30 am
  • Volunteers of America information number: (916) 442-3691

Winter Sanctuary

  • Intake conducted at Friendship Park at Loaves and Fishes Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 12:00 am
  • Contact phone number is: Sacramento Steps Forward (916) 577-9770

Cold Weather - General Tips and Recommendations

Check on elderly family members, friends, or neighbors.  Elderly and those with serious medical conditions are at risk. Please be sure to check in on community members that might be vulnerable during this cold spell.

Bring your pets indoors. A dog or cat left outside in severe cold weather can die quickly from exposure. Except for exercise and walks, all dogs and cats are safer indoors during the winter. Bring your pets inside when temperatures start to dip near freezing. Make sure they have a warm draft free place indoors with a dry mat or blanket that they can lie on.

Carbon Monoxide is a “silent killer.” It is not OK to heat the inside of your home with any kind of BBQ, propane heater, or any other fuel fired equipment. Only use heaters that were installed with your home and those that are designed to be used indoors. Make sure that your natural gas furnaces and other appliances are in good, clean working order.

Freezing pipes.  Insulate outdoor pipes that lead into your home.  Seal with caulk around the pipes that lead into and out of your home. Inside your home, leave bathroom and under sink cabinets open to help warm the water.  If your pipes freeze, leave your tap on and call the plumber. You can defrost your pipes using a hair dryer on a low setting, working your way slowly from the faucet to where your pipe enters the wall. City residents who need to have their water turned off in order to make repairs to their lines may call 311 or County residents can call 916-875-RAIN or 875-7246 for more information. 

Reduce your vehicle speed. If the temperature stays below 32 degrees, there will be a high probability you will see black ice. Be extra cautious when going over bridges and/or overpasses.  Give yourself extra spacing between vehicles in front of you. The best thing you can do is reduce your vehicle speeds.

Watch for tree limbs. As temperatures dip, trees become vulnerable to limbs snapping. In such instances, City emergency response crews will arrive on scene and work diligently to restore the free-flow of traffic or abate hazardous situations.  For service, Sacramento City residents may call 311 and County residents can call 916-875-5171.

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