Flood Disaster Preparation Tips
Before a Flood
Nearly every day a flood occurs somewhere within the United States. The cause can be from excessive rainfall, rapid snow melt, or rising lakes or rivers. In the US, flooding causes more damage than any other weather-related event. According to the National Weather Service, “Flooding is also one of America’s most underrated killers, causing nearly 90 fatalities per year.” Knowing the risk of a flood and how to prepare can potentially minimize your damage and possibly save a life.
Know Your Risk
Do you know if you live in or near a floodplain? FEMA has an online map that will assist you in determining your risk of flood based on your home’s location. The floodplain is determined by your proximity to dams, levee systems, rivers or low terrain.
If you are planning to buy, build or remodel be sure to know the area. Avoid building in floodplains unless structure is elevated and reinforced. Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel. Consider installing “check valves” to prevent water backup. Construct barriers to stop water from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
Preparing for a Flood
- Prepare a family disaster communication plan
- Prepare an emergency kit
- Check with your insurance agent to verify if your insurance covers flood damage
- Take or update your home inventory monthly
- Keep up to date photos or video of the interior and exterior of your home
- Keep insurance, important documents and other valuables in a safe deposit box
- Have an evacuation plan. Know multiple routes to higher ground near-by.
How to Prepare for a Flood
“Be prepared for a flood! This video tells you what to do if there’s flooding, such as how to prepare your home, what to bring if you evacuate from floodwater, what to do if you need rescue from high water, and the minimum supplies you need in your emergency survival kit for a flood. It’s essential knowledge for how to survive if you live on a flood plain or in an area that may have flooding, hurricane, tropical storm, tropical depression, storm surge, severe weather and thunderstorms, monsoon, cyclone or typhoon.”
When There is a Chance of a Flood
- Stay informed of the area that flooding is expected to occur via local radio or television stations or online at www.weather.gov
- If you have to evacuate and time allows, move essential items to higher ground, fill tanks to keep them from floating away and grease immovable machinery.
- Keep a supply of drinking water and non-perishable food in the event you become trapped.
During a Flood
- Stay informed via local radio or television stations or online at www.weather.gov
- Get to higher ground. If you live in a low area or a known floodplain, don’t wait until it’s too late to get out.
- Obey evacuation orders
- Don’t attempt to drive through flooded roads
After a Flood
- Listen to local authorities for information and instructions. Do not return to your home until is it deemed safe by the authorities.
- Boil water that you will be drinking or use for cooking and cleaning food to remove contaminants.
- Seek resources locally from Red Cross if available for housing, clothing, first aid, and food.
- Take photos of any damage and contact your insurance agent to file a claim.
We care about your safety! Please let us know if we can do anything, we are here for you. Please take care, heed the warnings and stay safe!