Immediate threat to life and limb: Obviously, all people are entitled to take necessary actions to protect their lives, and this applies to flooding threats as well.
Call 911 if you are in immediate physical danger.
If your property is at risk: Be aware that, other than in cases of immediate physical danger to life and limb, regulatory agencies define “emergencies” very specifically, and their definition may differ from yours.
What you consider an “emergency” may NOT be considered an emergency by the regulatory agencies. The regulatory agencies have special procedures in place to handle situations that fit their definitions of emergencies. Most agencies have special, expedited procedures for issuing emergency permits to do work that will impact creeks. Regulatory definitions of emergencies include: emergency flood or streambank erosion situation that would result in a significant loss of property or an immediate, unforeseen, and significant economic hardship.
Some agencies can issue emergency permits within 24 hours, others require prior phone notification, to be followed up with filing paperwork afterwards. Click on the links below to download emergency definitions and regulations from the Army Corps and CDFG:
If a road or bridge is flooding or at risk: If there is a public infrastructure problem please call the county roads department at (805) 781-5252 or if it is within the San Luis Obispo City limits call the City Public Works Department at (805) 781-7200. Sandbags can be purchased at many hardware, feed, and supply stores.