Safety Tips: Before, During and After a Flood
Prepare Ahead: The information and links to resources will assist you in your planning, but how well you do it is up to you. Take the time to prepare ahead, you'll be glad you did.
Before / During / After
- Before a Flood:
- Find out what your flood risk is.
- Avoid building in a floodprone area unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
- Retrofit your property: Elevate the A/C, water
heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
- Purchase flood insurance for your home, business, or rental.
- Know Your Zone.
- Make an emergency plan to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pet friendly shelters are limited.
Register to receive emergency alerts.
Did you know?
Flooding occurs in and out of designated flood zones.
- Protect you home by Building Smart.
- For more information on what to do before, during and after a natural disaster, visit Emergency Management.
During a Flood:
Do not panic.
- Know your hurricane evacuation level, know your evacuation routes and plan where you will go.
- Prepare a small bag with essentials.
- Tune in to local media for flood watches and warnings.
Heed warnings from officials – evacuate when orders are given.
- Have battery-operated flashlights, radios and televisions in working condition.
- Shut off water service, gas service and electricity to your home.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- One foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
After a Flood:
Did you know?
Flooding can be caused by heavy rains as well as by tropical storms and hurricanes.
- Use caution when returning home. Review the returning home checklist.
- What to do:
- Stay Connected. Stay tuned to local news for updates on flooded areas, road closures, and re-entry points.
- Follow re-entry orders and avoid flooded areas. Learn more here.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated or electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and report them to the power company.
- Stay out of flooded areas and standing water. Flood waters can contain raw sewage, bacteria, viruses, and other germs that can cause disease
Watch for critters such as snakes, raccoons, possums and insects that may have "moved" into your evacuated home, since they too look for shelter and relief from flood waters
- Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
- Photograph and list all damaged or lost items including their age and value where possible. Take photos of water in the house. Adjusters need evidence of the damage to prepare your estimate.
- File your flood insurance claim now. Learn more here.
- Remove wet contents immediately to prevent mold. Wet carpeting, furniture, bedding and other items holding moisture can develop mold within 24 to 48 hours, more information.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
- Build back safer and stronger.
- Repairing Your Flooded Home - Cómo reparar tu hogar inundado
- Hire a licensed contractor, learn how.
- Get required permits before you start any home repair, improvement, or construction. Build Smart
- Look out for price gouging. It is illegal for anyone to sell necessary goods or services at higher than normal prices during a state of emergency.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
- Take extra care in the prevention of mosquitoes breeding in standing water and remember the 3 Ds: Drain water when possible; Dress in light colors and cover all parts of the body; Defend with DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.