Where are the natural hazards in Los Gatos?
People relocating here often ask about the natural hazard zones in our area, such as:
- earthquake fault zones
- 100 year flood plains
- liquefaction areas
- landslide zones
- high fire hazard severity zones
- and they wonder if they’ve missed anything else?
Quick resources to get you started
There are two quick and high level resources to help with a basic understanding of where these zones are.
First, the Los Gatos General Plan 2040 has a lot of good info online. It’s a PDF, so not interactive, but it is a great starting point in getting to know the natural hazards in Los Gatos.
Second, the Cal OES My Hazards Awareness site, which I discuss below, is an interactive website with clear imagery that provides a high level sense of where the various hazard zones may be.
Resources to learn about the Natural Hazards in Los Gatos
There are many good and interactive websites with detailed information and after getting a broad feeling from the general plan, this is my preferred next step.
A great interactive resource for seeing several of the zones at once is the California Office of Emergency Management My Hazards Awareness website. The visuals are pretty good overall, but if you click on what appears to be the San Andreas Earthquake Fault, the map doesn’t provide additional information, unfortunately. As a starting point in a consumer’s research, though, it’s extremely useful.
The CAL OES My Hazards Awareness website, screenshot pictured above, covers the state mapped natural hazard zones, but not the local (county or city or town areas). Also it does not cover flooding from dam failure or levee breaches, as dams and levees bursting is considered a man made hazard, not a natural one. The CAL My Hazards site does include earthquake faults, liquefaction zone, the high fire risks in the state responsibility areas (not the local responsibility areas), 100 year flood plains, landslide areas, etc.
Important: The fire zone does not appear to be updated on the CAL My Hazards site. The best map for understand the high fire hazard severity zones and similar areas is using the CAL Fire site, FHSZ Viewer (Fire Hazard Severity Zone Viewer).