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.
- Be Smart. Know your hazard.
Make a flood emergency 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.
Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
- Know your local water levels.
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. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
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.
- 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 floodwater 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.
- Learn about how to repairing your flooded home.
- 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 (1999)
- Protecting Floodplain Resources, FEMA-268 (1996)
- Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding, FEMA 551 (2005)