Flooding can happen anywhere it rains or snows (or downstream from where it rains or snows), so it is one of the most common disasters.

Floods can be caused by heavy rain, a dam or levee break or excessive snow melt.  Storm surge from hurricanes, typhoons or tropical storms can also flood areas near coastlines.

If you live in a low-lying area, near water, downstream from a dam or behind a levee, you should be especially vigilant because your odds of a flood are much higher.

Flooding can occur slowly, but they often occur within a few minutes.  Those happening quickly are often called “flash floods”.

Flooding is extremely damaging to property and can be long lasting before the water recedes.  As you make your preparations, plan to be away from your home for as much as a week.


How To Prepare for Flooding Conditions

Since flooding can occur very quickly, it is important to be prepared in advance.  If flash flooding occurs, you will need to leave quickly, so you need a bug-out bag packed and ready to go!

You may not have time to pack when flooding is imminent.  If you do have time, you will likely be too stressed to think clearly enough to remember everything.  Do your prep now.

Flood Evacuation Steps:

  1. Secure you home.  Lock doors and windows and do everything you would normally do before leaving for a multiday trip or vacation.
  2. Grab your bug-out bag and evacuate.

If you have enough time before evacuation:

  1. Move valuables to the second floor or attic to reduce the likelihood of damage.
  2. Turn off utilities such as power, gas and water at the main switches or shut-off valves.
  3. Unplug electrical household appliances.
  4. Secure property that is outdoors such as patio furniture, barbeque grills, etc.

For more information about how to prepare you and your family for a flood or other disasters, click here.