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Major Hazards

1906 Earthquake - Santa Rosa CourthouseSonoma County is threatened by a multitude of potential disasters including flooding, winter storms, earthquake, urban/wildland fires, landslides, hazardous material incidents, drought, freeze, dam failure, tsunami, terrorism, as well as isolated events that could affect the tourism, agricultural, dairy, and fishing industries. Based on likelihood of occurring and potential damages to Sonoma County identified in the Hazard Mitigation Plan, the four major threats are:

  • Earthquakes - the two major fault lines in Sonoma County include the San Andreas in the West and the Healdsburg/Rodgers Creek through the middle. Soil composition in the Santa Rosa Plain is prone to liquefaction and heightened shaking intensity. Notably, the 1906 earthquake caused more fatalities in Santa Rosa due to building failure than in San Francisco - this remains the deadliest per capita earthquake disaster ever to befall an American city.
  • Floods/Winter Storm - Sonoma County's Guerneville/Russian River Area has one the highest repetitive flood loss rate in California. Recent major floods have occurred in 1986, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2006.
  • Landslide - large sections of the County, especially the western half, are susceptible to landslide and/or debris flows. In 1998 at over ten locations throughout the County, numerous houses were damaged/destroyed as a result of landslides.
  • Wildland/Urban Interface Fires - wildland/urban fire hazards are especially pronounced in areas of high structure densities with high vegetative fuel loading. These include communities such as Fitch Mountain, The Sea Ranch, Montecito Heights, the Trinity/Cavedale Road and Western Russian River areas, and other areas within incorporated city limits.

Sonoma County Hazard Mitigation Plan

Contact Information

Christopher Godley
Interim Emergency Manager
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
2300 County Center Drive
Suite 220 B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.46229, -122.725377

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Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative

The Bay Area UASI is a regional program that provides financial assistance to improve the Bay Area's capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist incidents or related catastrophic events. Projects facilitated by the program enhance regional capability through regional collaboration and efficient allocation of funds available.


Sonoma County 2-1-1

2-1-1 Sonoma County is an information and referral center that connects people quickly and effectively to community, health and disaster services through a free, 24/7 confidential phone line and searchable online database.


Sonoma County Public Safety

Sonoma County agency contact information and links.

Public Safety Information