Flood Preparedness

Humans tend to underestimate floods, but you’re no average human! You’re ready to get smart about a major watery threat. Being prepared can lower your family’s risk of injury, death, or loss of property in the event that the water starts to rise.

Flood icon
Car on a flooded street

Flood Facts

Floods have many causes; they happen whenever there’s too much water for the system (natural or manmade) to handle, and it’s unable to drain away.

Nearly 1.5 billion people worldwide live in areas at risk for intense flooding and flood-related complications.

A mere six inches of floodwater can move with enough force to knock down a grown adult, and twelve inches is enough to lift up and carry away a vehicle.

Flood water is disgusting at best, and deadly at worst. If you enter a flooded area and don’t encounter a hidden hazard like a hole, you might develop a skin infection from its contaminants.

How to Prepare for a Flood

  • Create a flood preparedness kit or purchase a prepackaged kit. Either way, make sure to maintain it.
  • Get flood insurance! Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding.
  • Keep your gutters clear and watch out for drainage problems whenever it rains. Clear, free-flowing drains can reduce your chances of damage during a flood.
  • Know the best evacuation routes. These should be on high ground and avoid bridges, if possible.
  • Find out if your county provides free sand and sandbags during flood emergencies.
  • Leave immediately if told to evacuate, and stay put if told to shelter in place. Floods can rise very quickly, so heed the experts’ advice wherever you can.
  • Hold regular drills involving the whole family (and your pets) to review flood safety whether you’re evacuating or sheltering at home.
Disaster Plan icon
important info icon

What Not to Do During a Flood

Here are some high water tips for you, if you’re better with “DON’Ts” than “DOs”

Don’t Enter Floodwaters

Turn around; don’t drown. Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary and never drive past a posted barrier during a flood.

Don’t Waste Time

If you are sheltering in place, take the time to prepare your home and move furniture to upper floors. If ordered to evacuate, leave ASAP to prioritize survival.

Don’t Forget your Go Bag

If you have to evacuate to escape a flood, you’ll want to leave immediately. Make sure your bag is packed and ready.