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Tips for Preparing for a Flood

Floods can happen at any time and in any climate. Whether you live or work in a coastal city at risk of storm surges, a Southwestern state prone to thunderstorms, or a mountainous region with substantial snowmelt in the spring, it’s vital to prepare today for the possibility of a flood tomorrow. Here are the top tips to keep in mind.

Keep Your Loved Ones Safe

  • Become familiar with your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and emergency shelter locations. If you have a pet, find an animal shelter able to take your dog or cat in an emergency.
  • Create a family disaster plan. Practice driving the flood evacuation route together.
  • Build a 72-hour kit for each family member.
  • Purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather radio.
  • Store essential documents (such as medical records, birth and marriage certificates, insurance cards, and copies of your ID) in a waterproof bag. Create password-protected digital backups as well.
  • Get a tetanus booster shot every 10 years.

Prepare Your Home for a Flood

  • Keep gutters and downspouts free of leaves, pine needles, and other debris.
  • Improve the soil grading around your home so rainwater flows away from the foundation.
  • Consider installing a sump pump with a backup power supply.
  • Place HVAC equipment, appliances, and electronics on risers to raise them off the floor.
  • Anchor fuel tanks located in the basement.
  • Install backflow valves or plugs in your sewer system, drains, and toilets to prevent floodwaters from entering your home this way.
  • Review your insurance coverage.

Prepare to Evacuate

If a flood watch or warning is issued, and evacuation appears imminent, follow these steps to prepare your family to leave:

  • Gather your 72-hour kits and tune in to the local news, county/city website, or NOAA radio broadcast.
  • Fill clean containers with water.
  • Bring untethered outdoor belongings, including patio furniture, grills, and garbage cans, inside or strap these down securely.
  • Fill up your car with gas. If you don’t have a car, make arrangements with friends or family.
  • Listen for disaster sirens or warning signals.
  • Take your pet or livestock to an animal shelter.

Evacuate vs. Shelter in Place

If you are directed to evacuate:

  • Never ignore the order.
  • Only take essential items with you.
  • Turn off the water, electricity, and gas supply if you have time.
  • Disconnect appliances to prevent electric shock once power is restored.
  • Follow designated evacuation routes. Don’t drive through floodwaters or attempt to circumvent barricades.

If you are not directed to evacuate:

  • Continue monitoring the news, websites, and radio.
  • Remain prepared to leave if emergency personnel instruct you to do so.

Have floodwaters damaged your home or business? DKI performs storm cleanup, including water damage restoration, to help you recover. Contact us today to request the help you need.