Flooding - Be Prepared

Floods can have serious impacts to the health and safety of the public. You can take steps to reduce the harm caused by flooding. Learn how to prepare for a flood, stay safe during a flood, and protect your health when you return home after a flood. 

Stay Informed

Stay informed by self-registering for alerts through your County Emergency Operations Center. 

  1. Preparing For A Flood
  2. During The Flood
  3. Returning Home After A Flood

Evacuation Plan

  • Make a flood emergency plan for evacuation routes, warning signals, and locations of emergency shelters. Include yourself, household members, and any animals. 
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit and include:
    • Flashlight
    • Batteries
    • Cooking equipment
    • Drinking water
    • Food/Pet Food
    • Cash
    • Medicine/First aid supplies 
  • Ensure you vehicle has a full tank of gas and if possible create an emergency kit for your vehicle if possible with the above items. 
  • Purchase flood insurance form FEMA. 
  • Stay informed of reports of flood danger and follow evacuation directions. 

Home Flood Preparation

  • Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them, such as moving outdoor furniture indoors and moving the most important indoor items to the highest possible floor. 
  • Evaluate the furnace, water heather and electrical panel in your home. 
  • Disconnect electrical appliances. To prevent electrocution do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. 
  • If instructed, turn off gas and electricity at the main switch or valve to help prevent fires and explosions. 

Drinking Water Well Flood Preparation

  • Check that the well has a tight-fitting, waterproof cap. Wrap the cap and well casing with durable sheet plastic and duct tape, then place sand bags around the well. 
  • Ensure the backflow prevention valves are in place. 
  • Turn the electricity off to your well pump just prior to the flood. Do not turn the electricity back on until the floodwaters recede. 
  • If the well is not used during the flood, plug the vent holes. Remember to unplug the vent wholes after threat of flood has passed. 

Septic System Flood Preparation

  • If you have a septic system, ensure all access points to the system (lids, risers, cleanouts and inspection ports) are properly covered to prevent the flow of floodwaters into the system. 
  • Install a backflow preventer (check valve) on the building sewer so sewage cannot back up into your home during a flooding event. 
  • If your septic system requires electricity, turn off the pump and alarms at the circuit box before the areas floods. Discontinue use of the system once the power supply has been shut off. 
  • Limit water use during and after flooding. The drain field may not accept effluent until the area dries. Normal water use should not continue until the area is unsaturated and the septic system has been inspected to identify problems and any necessary repairs have been made. 

Food Safety

  • Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. An appliance thermometer will indicate the temperature inside the refrigerator and freezer in case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food. 
  • Make sure the freezer is at 0°F or below and the refrigerator is at 41°F or below. 
  • Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator or coolers after the power is out. 
  • Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately — this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer. 
  • Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased. 
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers. 
  • Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.