How to Prepare for Floods
Get ready now before the flood waters rise.
Learn About Floods
Call your city hall or mayor's office to learn the flood-warning signs and community's alert signals. Many cities have their own criteria for sounding alarms.
Learn about the common terms: Flood Watches and Warnings
WHN Tip: Print Out WHN's Get Help Flood Tips. Place the Get Prepared tips [WHN page link TK] in your Home Disaster Preparedness Kit.
Create an Emergency Evacuation Plan
Create a Create a Home Emergency Exit Plan. In the event of rising waters, you'll need to exit in a hurry.
Designate a place for family to meet outside the neighborhood. Make sure all family members know the address and phone number.
Plan in advance where to go if you are asked to evacuate your home. Consider more than one option such as a relative's home, a hotel, or a shelter.
Know where emergency shelters are located. Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross for information on designated public shelters.
Know the emergency response plan for your workplace, your children's school or child care center, as well as other places where your family spends time (i.e. church, gym, rec center).
Learn safe routes to higher ground. You may need to drive 20 to 50 miles to locate a safe place. Remember to map more than one route, in case bridges are out or roads are blocked.
Keep your car's gas tank full if you may need to evacuate. During emergencies, filling stations may be closed. Never store extra fuel in the garage - this could be dangerous.
Always have extra cash on hand (at least $100 or so) because ATMs and credit card machines won't work if the power's out. Do this even if you aren't planning to evacuate.
Print out and fill in your WHN Contact List. [WHN page link TK] Print copies of the Emergency Contact List and keep them by your phones for easy access.
Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance.
Meet with neighbors either informally or through a neighborhood group to create a neighborhood preparedness plan.
Make a note of neighbors or nearby relatives who may require extra assistance. Write down their names and phone numbers, if you don't have them already. Keep this list with your emergency kit or your emergency contact list. [WHN page link TK]
Emergency Preparedness Items
Prepare a readily available and fully stocked Home Disaster Preparedness Kit.
WHN Tip: Disaster Kit Drill
Pick a night when everyone is home. Turn off the TV and lights, don't use the faucets, fridge or the stove. Check and see what items are missing (special needs for family members, can opener, etc.). Make a list and add these items to your kit.
Have a car emergency kit. Include water, first aid, and a way to signal need for help, flashlight & batteries, warm blankets, a shovel, and a battery-operated radio.
Add a NOAA Weather Radio to your home and car emergency kits. If there is a severe warning in your area, a NOAA Weather Radio automatically turns on and alerts you with beeps and sirens. It even alerts you if the power is out (the radios have battery back-up).
WHN Tip: Look for NOAA radios with "SAME" feature (Specific Area Message Encoding) which means the receiver is capable of turning itself on from a silent mode.
Consider enrolling yourself and/or family members in first aid and emergency preparedness courses such as those offered by the American Red Cross.
Adult family members should know how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main valves or switches. Family members should also know CPR, how to help someone who is choking and first aid for severe bleeding and shock.
WHN Tip: In Case of Emergency (ICE)
In the event of an emergency or after an accident, emergency personnel use your cell phone to look for "ICE": who to contact In Case of an Emergency. Here's how to do it. [WHN page link TK]
Buy extra fire extinguishers and teach each family member how to use them. Store them in a central place.
Your Home and Property
We've pulled together a quick list of indoor and outdoor precautions you can take to improve your "shelter from the storm."
Or head to Emergency and Disaster Services for additional resources.
WHN Tip: Flood Insurance
A Flood Insurance policy also reimburses you for actions you take to prevent flood damage. For example, costs for moving insured contents, in imminent danger of flooding, to a safe location are reimbursed up to $1,000 with no deductible.
Other costs, such as for sandbags, plastic sheeting and lumber, pumps, fill for temporary levees, and wood to save the building can be reimbursed up to a limit of $1,000 with no deductible. See our article on Flood Insurance for more information.
Before you begin your work, contact your local building official for information about the required codes and assistance so that you can make improvements properly the first time.
Create a Home Inventory List - videotape, photograph or compile a written inventory of your home and belongings. This will make it easier to file an insurance claim.
WHN Tip: Update your inventory every two to three years, with every major purchase, or if significant home or property renovations are made.
Prepare a Home Grab-and-Go Kit with cash, copies of important documents and records, photos and contact information.
Thank you ...
A special thank you to the first responders, emergency workers, government officials, lawyers, insurance agents and people who gave us their time, insight and real-life advice. And, thanks to the sites that we have on our Emergency and Disaster Services page.
|FloodsHow to Prepare for FloodsGet ready now before the flood waters rise.When a Flood Watch or Warning Is IssuedBe safe, be smart and follow these tips.Protection Against MosquitoesLarge amounts of pooled water after a flood or other natural disaster could lead to an increase in mosquito populations. Fortunately, while they are a pest, the majority do not carry communicable diseases.Mudslides Preparation and SurvivalBe prepared for the possibility of a mudslide (debris slides) or landslides, which are typically associated with periods of heavy rainfall or rapid snow melt. Floods can come as a result of a mudslide or landslide.Flood Watches and WarningsWhat to know about the terms.Flash Flooding Preparation and SurvivalAs pleasant as a rainfall can be, it can quickly turn into a dangerous flooding situation.|