Who Needs to Prepare

"My interest is piqued" Larry David GIF

Has it ever rained where you live? SURPRISE, you are at risk for flooding. From flash floods to slow-rising water, flooding is a legitimate risk across the country, not just for people on the coasts or in lakefront vacation homes. A technically low risk area is at greater risk if it’s densely populated, since unexpected flooding with fast-rising water may lead to limited or difficult escape routes. You’re on the list!

Assess Your Flood Risk

Now that we have your attention, we will admit that some areas are at higher risk than others. Typically, people whose homes are near oceans, rivers, lakes, or even creeks have a heightened flooding risk. Some people also live in floodplains. These are areas that may be further from water, but are at risk for flooding due to low elevation and/or seasonal patterns.

Regardless of where you live, check the FEMA Flood Map Service Center to determine your risk level. If the FEMA map doesn’t show your area, search for your county’s flood maps, which should be published online. Every location in the US has some risk of flooding, so every resident should research their level of risk, whether it’s low, moderate, or high.


Even deserts can be at high risk for flash floods during rainy seasons, so don’t get too comfortable out there.

Be in the Know

It’s a great idea to sign up for your community’s warning system regardless of your risk level. These systems give you notice so you can prepare to evacuate or, if evacuation is not advised, to fortify your home to minimize damage. Either way, you’ll feel a lot better knowing sooner than later.

Now that you know you need to prepare, let’s make a kit!

flood preparedness and risk level assessment
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About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.