What To Do: Before, During & After A Flood

Man sitting in flooded living room using phone, low section

With recent flooding in the news, we want to make sure that you and your family are prepared. So here’s what to do to make sure your loved ones are always safe before, during and after a flood.

BEFORE A FLOOD (When flooding has been forecast)

  • Be alert.
  • Monitor your surroundings.
  • Monitor local television and radio stations, or go to www.weather.gov.
  • If a flash flood warning is issued for your area: Climb to safety immediately.
  • Flash floods develop quickly. Do not wait until you see rising water.
  • Get out of low areas subject to flooding.
  • If driving, do not drive through flooded roadways!
  • Assemble disaster supplies:
    > Drinking water – Fill clean containers.
    > Food that requires no refrigeration or cooking.
    > Cash.
    > Medications and first aid supplies.
    > Clothing, toiletries.
    > Battery-powered radio.
    > Flashlights.
    > Extra batteries.
    > Important documents: insurance papers, medical records, bank account numbers.


  • Be prepared to evacuate.
  • Identify places to go.
  • Identify alternative travel routes that are not prone to flooding.
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • If told to leave, do so quickly.
  • Review your Family Disaster Plan.
  • Discuss flood plans with your family.
  • Decide where you will meet if separated.
  • Designate a contact person who can be reached if family members get separated. Make sure every family member has the contact information.
  • Protect your property.
  • Move valuables and furniture to higher levels.
  • Move hazardous materials (such as paint, oil, pesticides, and cleaning supplies) to higher locations.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Bring outside possessions indoors or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects.
  • Seal vents to basements to prevent flooding.



    • Be alert.
    • Monitor your surroundings.
    • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, local television and radio stations, or go to www.weather.gov.
    • Don’t drive unless you have to.
    • If you must drive, travel with care.
    • Make sure your vehicle has enough fuel.
    • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sightsee.
    • Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue or other emergency operations and put you at further risk.
    • Watch for washed out roads, earth slides, and downed trees or power lines.
    • Be especially cautious at night, when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
    • If the vehicle stalls, abandon it.
    • If water rises around your car, leave the vehicle immediately. Climb to higher ground as quickly as possible.
    • NEVER drive through flooded roadways. STOP! Turn around.
    • The roadbed may be washed out.
    • You can lose control of your vehicle in only a few inches of water.
    • Your car may float. Vehicles can be swept away by less than 2 feet of water.
    • Do not drive around a barricade. Turn around and go another way!
    • Get to high ground – Climb to safety!
    • Get out of low areas that may be subject to flooding.
    • Avoid already-flooded areas and do not attempt to cross flowing water.
    • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.
    • Evacuate immediately, if you think you are at risk or are advised to do so!
    • Act quickly. Save yourself, not your belongings.
    • Move to a safe area before access is cut off by rising water.
    • Families should use only one vehicle to avoid getting separated and reduce traffic jams.
    • Shut off water, gas, and electrical services before leaving.
    • Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.
    • If directed to a specific location, go there.
    • Never try to walk or swim through flowing water.
    • If flowing water is above your ankles, STOP! Turn around and go another way.
    • If it is moving swiftly, water 6 inches deep can knock you off your feet.
    • Be aware that people have been swept away wading through flood waters.
    • NEVER allow children to play around high water, storm drains, creeks, or…

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