Before a Flood Occurs
  • Contact the local American Red Cross or the local Office of Emergency Management to determine the flooding risk. Is there a river or lake that is likely to experience rising waters nearby? Is flash flooding a concern?
  • Learn how the local community notifies residents of a flooding emergency.
  • If the area is frequently flooded, then stockpile emergency supplies for flood preparation and home repair like plywood, nails and screws, shovels, sandbags and plastic tarps.
  • Consider having the plumbing retrofitted with valves to prevent sewage backing up into a residence.
  • Get a copy of the community’s flood evacuation plan.
  • Keep the 72-hour disaster Go-Kit stocked, updated and easily accessible.
During a Flood Emergency
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for situation updates.
  • Stay in touch with out-of-town contacts to update them on location and condition.
  • Store as much clean water as possible because the municipal water may become contaminated as floodwaters rise.
  • Secure valuable household possessions and important documents on an upper floor of the house.
  • Be prepared to evacuate on short notice. Pre-load the car with a disaster kit and any other items needed during evacuation and park the car facing the route of escape.
  • Do not drive through flooded streets. Even if the water does not appear to be deep, the road may be washed out or damaged.
  • Do not attempt to wade through moving water; even small amounts of moving water can be deadly.
After a Flood

While a flood-in-progress is certainly dangerous, there are many dangers that exist after a flood as well.

  • Return home only after authorities give permission to do so.
  • Use extreme caution when entering a previously flooded building. Structural integrity may have been seriously compromised. Snakes, insects and other hazards may exist in the building, and sewage may be present.
  • Wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing from a disaster kit.
  • Wash hands regularly while working in a previously flooded building, and wear a protective mask.
  • Watch for downed power lines; always assume they are “live” unless told by power company officials that they are safe.
  • Do not turn your electricity on until an electrician has checked the building’s wiring.
  • Take pictures of the damage. Keep a home inventory nearby for comparison while working with the insurance company.