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In Case of a Flood

In Case of a Flood: How to Protect Your Family – and Yourself!

Flooding can be a devastating natural disaster, but with the right preparation and knowledge, you can protect your family and property. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you stay safe before, during, and after a flood.

Understanding Flood Watches and Warnings

Flood Watches:

  • Issued when conditions are right for flooding, usually due to heavy rainfall.
  • Indicates that rivers and streams might overflow.

Flood Warnings:

  • Issued when flooding is imminent or already occurring.
  • Provides details on the severity, timing, and locations affected.

Flash Flood Watches:

  • Issued when there is a potential for sudden, heavy rainfall that could cause flash floods.

Flash Flood Warnings:

  • Issued when flash flooding is already occurring.
  • If a flash flood warning is issued, move to higher ground immediately.

Action Steps:

  • Stay informed about the different types of flood warnings in your area.
  • Use reliable sources like weather apps, local news, and NOAA weather radio for updates.

Evacuation Planning

Plan Evacuation Routes:

  • Identify multiple routes out of your home in case some are blocked.
  • Practice these routes with your family to ensure everyone knows the way.

Family Communication Plan:

  • Establish a meeting point in case you are separated.
  • Ensure all family members know how to contact each other during an emergency.

Protecting Your Property


  • Purchase appropriate insurance for your home or business as soon as you move in.
  • Standard renters and homeowners insurance policies typically exclude flood damage.
  • Add comprehensive flood coverage to your auto insurance policy.
  • Some special business insurance policies also offer flood coverage.

Federal Flood Insurance:

  • Available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Covers physical damage and losses caused by floods.
  • Can be purchased through your independent insurance agent.
  • Coverage is available in communities that participate in the NFIP.

Coverage Details:

  • Physical damage from floods, erosion, waves, and water currents exceeding normal levels.
  • Mudslide damage.
  • Separate policies for the contents and structure of your home.
  • Replacement costs for buildings; cash value coverage for contents.

Emergency Supplies:

  • First-aid kit
  • Plywood and plastic sheeting
  • Hammers and nails
  • Shovels and sandbags
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Battery- or dynamo-powered radio
  • Necessary medications
  • Sturdy, sensible shoes
  • Emergency water and food
  • Credit cards and cash

Home Preparation:

  • Install a system to prevent sewage from backing up into your drains.
  • Know how to turn off your water, gas, and electric utilities.
  • Inventory your possessions and store a copy of this list offsite (e.g., in a safety deposit box).

By taking these steps, you can minimize the risks associated with flooding and ensure that you and your family are prepared to handle this type of emergency. Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay safe. 

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