Skip to main content

Emergency Preparedness

fire truck

Marin Water continually dedicates time and resources to preparing for emergencies that could impact our water sources and delivery systems. We conduct comprehensive vulnerability assessments to ensure we're prepared, no matter the situation.

Our Operations Center is staffed 24/7 year-round, so we are able to activate our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at any time to coordinate the actions of Marin Water first responders.

Disasters are rarely confined to a particular set of geographical boundaries. We may require the support of outside agencies to handle an emergency that exceeds our resource capabilities. Likewise, other federal, state, or local agencies may request our assistance. When this happens, Marin Water will partner with other agencies to share resources and information and to coordinate the response and recovery effort as a part of the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS).

Marin Water’s core mission is explicitly focused on natural resource management, sustainability, and water supply reliability. Implicit in this mission statement is a guiding principle that water reliability is a fundamental element of the community; supporting the economy, ecology, and landscapes that make Marin a unique and desirable place to live.

As the community we serve contends with potential natural disasters, the district recognizes we have a responsibility and role to play; we have a duty to protect the community we serve by preparing for and mitigating against wildfire. District staff developed this Wildfire Resilience Plan (WRP) to summarize existing district programs and operations related to wildfire preparedness, identify data gaps, and develop recommended actions that will lead to a more wildfire resilient and reliable water system that protects communities throughout the service area.

To learn more, click on Draft Wildfire Resilience Plan 2020. The final Plan will be a living document; updated periodically to address changing conditions and the evolution of wildfire resiliency best practices.

The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) was developed to inventory potential hazards that Marin Water is most vulnerable to, assess risks to the District’s infrastructure and critical facilities, and develop a mitigation strategy to reduce the risk of exposure and allow a swift and organized recovery should a disaster occur. The LHMP addresses earthquake, drought, fire, climate change, and extreme weather. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded Marin Water a grant in the amount of $150,000 for development of the District's LHMP. The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA) requires local governments to adopt a federally approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan in order to be eligible and receive pre- and post-disaster mitigation funds from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The DMA emphasizes planning for disasters before they occur.

LHMPs require updates every five years. FEMA approved Marin Water’s current LHMP on March 21, 2022, and it will remain active until March 21, 2027.


View Hazard Mitigation Plan


Related Initiatives


Beginning during the 2019 fire season, PG&E began proactively turning off power in designated areas when there is a high risk of a wildfire. PG&E will determine which areas and customers are affected based on several factors, including weather conditions such as Red Flag Warnings, high winds, and dry conditions.

While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, PG&E is asking all of its customers to be prepared, and to plan ahead and have supplies to last for several days, in the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

If there is a PSPS event in Marin, Marin Water asks all customers to suspend irrigation and restrict water use to indoors only for the duration of the power shutoff. We rely on electric power to treat and distribute water. By curtailing water use during a shutoff, you can help ensure more water is available for essential uses such as firefighting.

To learn more about how your power supply may be affected by PG&E's power shutoffs, please visit PG&E's website at or call 1.800.743.5000.

To learn more about how Marin Water is preparing for PG&E's power shutoffs, and what you can do to prepare your home and family, click on the Fact Sheet below.
Download the PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Fact Sheet

Marin Water has invested heavily in facility upgrades and employee training to help ensure our water is there when needed most. There are also some simple steps you can take on your end to be ready in an emergency. (Download this information as a printable brochure in English or Spanish.)

Store an Emergency Supply

One of the easiest yet most essential steps you can take to prepare for an earthquake or other disaster is to set aside an emergency water supply.

  • Store at least a three day supply of water for each person in your household. Plan for one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation. Store extra water for pets and family members with special needs.
  • Tap water from Marin Water can be safely stored in well-sanitized, food-grade containers such as plastic soda bottles. Avoid used milk or juice jugs and containers that will decompose or break. Seal tightly, then label and store in an easily accessible, dark, cool, dry area away from solvents and chemicals. Replace every six months. You also can purchase commercially bottled or packaged water for long-term storage.
  • Don't forget your other emergency supplies and necessities. Get a complete list at

Know How to Turn Off Your Water

In the event of an earthquake or an unexpected winter freeze, you may need to turn off your water to prevent damage to your property from broken pipes.

  • Prepare in advance by locating the water main leading into your house and attach a label to it for quick identification (so that you can find it even in the dark). Turn clockwise to shut off.
  • If you can't turn the water off at the main leading into your house, shut off water at the main meter box (usually by the street), which controls the water flow to the entire property. To shut off, turn valve arrow toward the street.
  • If you can't turn off the water yourself, call Marin Water's emergency line at 415-945-1500 and we will send someone to turn it off for you.

Identify Other Sources of Water

If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in your pipes, water heater, and ice cube trays. If you're not certain about the purity of the water, filter and disinfect as described below.

  • To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your home at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the home.
  • To use the water in your water heater, close the intake valve and cut off the heater's gas or electricity supply. Open the drain at the bottom of the tank and collect the water in a clean container. You may need to turn on a hot-water faucet in the house to allow air into the tank to start the flow of water. Be sure to refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on.
  • Consider using water from the toilet tank or perhaps a pool or other outdoor water source for washing and cleaning purposes.