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  • Writer's pictureKevin Peterson

Natural Hazard Maps - City of San Mateo

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

Why wait to suddenly be surprised in reading the Natural Hazards Disclosures (NHD)? There are risks to living in the San Francisco Bay Area and best to know where those risks are before you buy a house so you can prepare yourself mentally and take corrective actions as needed.

In the city of San Mateo, we'll show you answers to the following - Where are the flood zones? Where are the high risk fire zones? Where are the earthquake zones? Are there landslide areas to be aware of?

We get these questions all the time so in this article, we will attempt to answer these questions and more for the city of San Mateo in the SF Bay Area on the mid-Peninsula.

Table of Contents:

Flood Maps

To download the original file, click here.

The below map shows the annual chance of a flood (between 0.02-1%). Very low probability but still a potential risk.

To download the original file, click here.

What is the city of San Mateo doing to pro-actively address flood risks?

San Mateo has undertaken projects aimed at minimizing / eliminating flood risks - from making free sandbags available during the rainy season to a major capital improvements.

Since 2001, certain neighborhoods have been included in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), the latest FEMA flood map has taken effect as of April 5, 2019. The North Shoreview Assessment District was created to remove these areas from the SFHA in the future, which creates a tax lien on the property.

The $12 per year MEASURE AA Notice of Assessment shows up on all San Mateo residents' property taxes. Property owners in the South Bayfront Assessment district have been paying their assessments since 2009-10. the South Bayfront Assessment District and the North Shoreview Assessment District were properly recorded as of February 2020.

Follow these links to learn more about the history and current progress of the Flood Zone in San Mateo, and receive answers to Frequently Asked Questions to better understand your flood status.

Earthquake Maps

To lookup a specific address, use the California Department of Conservation's EQ Zapp on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

To zoom in on the liquifaction areas a bit more and discern very high to low risk, check out the map below...

To download the original file, click here.

What areas have both flood and earthquake risks?

Check out this map provided by the city of San Mateo that illustrate what areas of San Mateo have low to high exposure to both flooding and earthquakes....

To download the original file, click here.

Fire Hazard Map

To download the original file, click here.

This map shows that the hills to the west are the most prone to forest fires. Most of this map shows Hillsborough but the MLS areas to be on the watch for this are 432 Baywood Park and the 433 The Highlands.

Crystal Springs Dam Inundation Map

To download the original file, click here.

If the Crystal Springs reservoir were to break, this is the likely neighborhoods that would experience the full brunt of water being released.

Landslide Map

To download the original file, click here.

These locations are the highest risk areas of a landslide. Note that during the 2023 atmospheric "Bomb Cyclones", these areas experienced heavy rains and were not severly damaged.

Noise Map

From the Department of Transportation, this map shows where sound levels are highest due to planes, trains, cars, or some mix of all of them.

To plug in a specific address, click here.

How to find them all in one place?

To find out what all the natural hazard risks are at a particular address, check out the California's Governor's Office of Emergency Services property locator here.

In Summary:

  • All of these items will be called out in the Natural Hazards Disclosures (NHD) provided by one of the standard NHD providers. Some risks have a higher likelihood than others.

  • The city of San Mateo (and cities around the SF Bay Area) all have risks.

  • Consult your local real estate advisor to discuss these areas of San Mateo in more detail as well as learn how to de-risk your home and family in case any of these events occur.

References -

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