San Diego

Where to Find Free Sandbags in San Diego County

Boy scoops sand into sandbags
NBC 7

When it rains in San Diego County, you'll want to be prepared and your local governments want to help. Just head to one of these county or city sites to grab free sandbags ahead of the storm.

It is important to note that at most locations, you'll need to fill up sandbags yourself -- so bring a shovel -- and proof of residency may be required. The number of bags you can get will vary by location.

For tips on how to properly fill and place your sandbags for the best protection from flooding, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the County Office of Emergency Services have put together some guidance here.

Here's where to find free sandbags across San Diego County:

San Diego County Sites

The County Office of emergency services is offering free sandbags at areas across San Diego County and locations can be found through the county's interactive map. Just enter your city's name to find a location near you, or browse on the map. Click here to use the tool.

The county's fire agencies are also providing sandbags

North County Sites

The city of Carlsbad can provide a limited number of bags to residents during an emergency. To report flooding call 760-931-2197. 

The city of Oceanside is not providing sandbags during the coronavirus pandemic but suggests the public get bags from Moody’s Recycling at El Corazon at 3210 Oceanside Blvd. Call (760) 433-3316 to check their hours before you go.

In Vista, residents with an ID can get 10 free unfilled sandbags at the  Public Works facility, located at 1165 E. Taylor Street at Building H during normal business hours.

San Marcos offers up to 20 free unfilled sandbags to residents. The sandbags can be filled and picked up at the southwest corner of the Public Works Division parking lot at 201 Mata Way.

The City of Escondido provides residents with sand and 10 empty bags for filling at the Escondido Sports Center in Kit Carson Park, located at 3333 Bear Valley Parkway. The location will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on rainy days. Be sure to bring and ID and a shovel. For more information, call 760-839-4668.

In the city of Poway, residents have three locations to pick up empty sandbags and fill them with sand.

East County Sites

Heartland Fire & Rescue is offering free sandbags while supplies last in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove. Proof of residency will be required. Residents will receive 10 bags that they can fill up themselves, while supplies last.

Public Works Operations
1060 Vernon Way, El Cajon, CA 92020
Available Monday through Thursday 6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and alternate Fridays from  6:00 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. For more information call (619) 441-1658.

Public Works Operations Yard
8152 Commercial Street, La Mesa, CA 91942
Available Monday through Thursday 6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and alternate Fridays from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information call (619) 667-1450.

Lemon Grove Heartland Fire Station Number 10
7853 Central Avenue, Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Available Monday through Friday during business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

South Bay Sites

The city of Chula Vista is offering up to 10 free sandbags to its residents. Bags can be picked up at the Public Works yard at 1800 Maxwell Rd. No sandbags are offered at fire stations.

In Imperial Beach, residents can get a limited number of sandbags to fill themselves, with proof of residency, before or during a storm.

Imperial Beach Fire-Rescue Department
865 Imperial Beach Boulevard, Imperial Beach, CA 91932
Call 619-423-8223 for more information

National City is offering its residents 10 free sandbags with proof of residency from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at three locations. People will need to bring their own shovel or scooping device to fill the empty bags at the following locations:

National City Fire Station #31
2333 Euclid Avenue, National City
Daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

National City Fire Station #34
343 East 16th Street, National City
Daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Boys and Girls Club
1430 D Ave, National City, 91950

San Diego Sites

In the city of San Diego, up to 10 empty sandbags are being offered to those with proof of residency. San Diegans can obtain sandbags from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 2 p.m. on weekends at the following locations: 

Council District 1
Standley Recreation Center
3585 Governor Drive, San Diego 92122

Council District 2
Robb Athletic Field
2525 Bacon St., San Diego 92107

Council District 3
Golden Hill Recreation Center
2600 Golf Course Drive, San Diego 92102

Council District 4
Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center
6401 Skyline Drive, San Diego 92114

Council District 5
Scripps Ranch Recreation Center
11454 Blue Cypress Drive, San Diego 92131

Council District 6
North Clairemont Recreation Center
4421 Bannock Ave., San Diego 92117

Council District 7
Allied Gardens Recreation Center
5155 Greenbrier Ave., San Diego 92120

Council District 8
San Ysidro Community Activity Center
179 Diza Road, San Diego 92173

Council District 9
City Heights Recreation Center
4380 Landis St., San Diego 92105

The city is making its own preparations ahead of potential flooding, including adding "no parking" signs in flood-prone areas and cleaning drains and inlets. 

Residents were asked to do the same. Simple steps like sweeping out debris from storm drains and gutters, securing trash bins and not driving on flooding roadways could keep residents safe during flooding emergencies, the city of San Diego said. 

Residents can report events such as flooding or downed trees by using the Get It Done application or by calling 619-527-7500. 

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