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Preparing for Emergencies

There are no emergencies at this time. For all up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic and transit information during non-emergencies, please visit the 511.org homepage.


When emergencies like freeway closures or transit disruptions happen, it's good to have a back-up plan already in place:
  • Bookmark this page for up-to-date information and advice during a traffic or transit disruptions
  • Use 511.org's many features to help you prepare your transportation back-up plan in advance

Driving

Consider alternate routes to work – avoid the most heavily-traveled routes. The 511 Traffic Page provides real-time and predicted traffic information and driving times in the Bay Area.
Sign up for a MY 511 account. With a MY 511 account, you can personalize 511 for your needs. My 511 can be helpful in alerting you to emergency situations because you can select to have traffic alerts sent to your phone or email. MY 511 will help you know when traffic conditions get worse and which roadways to avoid.
Get FasTrak. If you must drive, you may be able to avoid long wait times at the tollbooths with FasTrak. Pick one up at Safeway and Costco retail locations or sign up online.
Consider car sharing. Car sharing services are ideal for daytime appointments and errands. Now is the time to get your car share plan ready so you have a car in the event of an emergency. View the Carshare page for a list of car sharing companies in the Bay Area.

Carpooling

Form a carpool with the 511 RideMatch Service. During an emergency situation, many commuters are affected and are looking for carpool partners/carpools to join. Sign up in the 511 RideMatch now, and get a list of people you could share a ride with in the event of an emergency. Don't wait until the evening before you need a ride to sign up and call the people on your matchlist.

Add riders to your existing carpool. If an emergency occurs, ask your friends, neighbors or co-workers if they would like to join your carpool. Or, register with the 511 Ridematch Service to get a list of others near you interested in carpooling. Contact them in advance to arrange your carpool for emergency situations.

Consider casual carpooling. Casual carpooling is different from traditional carpooling in that you don't establish your carpool partners in advance. Just show up at a casual carpool pickup site and wait for a carpool destined for a location near where you want to go. Get familiar with the pick-up and drop-off locations so that you know where to go before an emergency occurs. Visit the Casual Carpool page to access Bay Area casual carpooling information.

Vanpooling

Join a vanpool. Many vanpools have established long-term arrangements, but may have one or two seats available at any given time. In the event of an emergency, these vanpools would welcome a temporary rider to help lower some of their costs. Get a list of vanpools with available seats, and then call 511 and say "Rideshare" to speak to a Rideshare Operator who can assist you with contacting the driver.

Transit

Plan your transit trip with the 511 Transit Trip Planner. In an emergency situation, like a roadway or bridge closure, transit may be the best or only option. Don't wait until the emergency happens to learn what your transit options are for your commute.

If an emergency happens, visit 511.org frequently for the latest on alternate transit routes, additional transit service, relocated transit stops and shuttle information. Many transit stops may be relocated during an emergency.

Work Accommodations

Ask your employer if you can adjust your work hours or telecommute in the event of an emergency. To avoid commuting during peak times, your workplace may already have a policy in place that allows you to adjust your hours or conduct business from home. Or, if your company has multiple offices or branches, ask your employer if you might be able to work from an office nearer to your home.

Our free 511 Employer Transportation Consultants can assist your employer in establishing flexible work hours and telecommuting policies if you don't have one; these services are free so contact your consultant today for assistance. You can view contact information for Employer Services Representatives here.