What to Do Before a Flood or Flash Flood
Determine what your flood risk is. Your community officials or county emergency services office can help you determine the history of flooding in your region and whether your property is in the floodplain.
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you can take a number of measures to help protect your home and family before a flood.
- Floodproof your home. (See Section 3.6)
- Develop a Family Emergency Plan .(See Section 2.2)
- Develop a Family Disaster Kit. (See Sections 2.3 2.4)
- Closely monitor weather forecasts for flood watches and warnings
- Stockpile emergency building materials, including plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, nails, hammer and saw, pry bar, shovels, and sandbags.
- Have check valves installed in building sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing up in sewer drains or use stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.
- Purchase Flood Insurance.
What to do if a flood watch or warning is issued
- Listen continuously to a NOAA Weather Radio or a portable, battery-powered radio (or television) for updated emergency information.
- Be ready to react immediately. Floods and flash floods can happen quickly and without warning.
- If your residence is in a flood-prone area:
- Fill bathtubs, sinks, and plastic bottles with clean water.
- Bring patio furniture and other outdoor items indoors.
- Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
- If you are instructed by local authorities, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
- Get your disaster supplies ready.
- Fill your car’s gas tank in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- Be prepared to evacuate.
WVU Extension Service Disaster and Emergency Management Resources
Flood and Flash Flood Disaster Management Measures
Section 3.3 Page 1