No one can stop a flood, but there are many things you can do before, during, and after a storm to protect your family and keep property damage to a minimum.
Learn all you can.
- Prepare for a flood.
- Know your flood risk. Find your property on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)
- Be Smart. Know your hazard.
- Make a plan.
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, battery-powered radio, and emergency supply of water and food, and first aid supplies.
- Consider buying flood insurance.
- Take steps to stay informed. Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.
- Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans.
- Use the Flood Preparedness and Recovery Guide to know how to respond to a disaster.
Turn Around Don't Drown.
- Know the flood warnings.
- Know your local water levels.
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
- Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. If the water is moving, do not leave the car.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
- Know your evacuation routes and shelter locations.
Be cautious and patient.
- Know the first steps to take.
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Turn off the main electrical power and water systems off until you or a professional can ensure that they are safe.NEVER turn the power on or off, or use an electrical tool or appliance while in standing in water.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris.
- Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
- Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
- Begin repairs to your home.
FEMA Flood Protection Library
- Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House, FEMA-347 (2000)
- Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program, F-084 (2011)
- Elevated Residential Structures, FEMA-54 (1984)
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards, FEMA P-85 (2009)
- Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damage, FEMA-P-348, Edition 2 (2017)
- Protecting Floodplain Resources, FEMA-268 (1996)
- Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding, FEMA 551 (2005)
- Repairing Your Flooded Home, FEMA P-234 (2010)