Anyplace it rains has the potential to flood – even deserts experience flash floods. In fact, floods are the most frequent natural disaster in the United States. Use these tools and tips to help you prepare for and navigate potential floods.
Find your flood zone. Use FEMA’s flood zone tool to learn the risk of flooding at your residence so you can plan your defense strategy.
If you’re in a high-risk zone:
- Put barriers that can block or divert flood waters around your house. Check with your local emergency management agencies for information on building flood countermeasures.
- Stock up on building and repair supplies. Make sure you have work gloves and work boots, sandbags, lumber and plywood, plastic tarps, trash bags, shovels, hammer and nails, and heavy tape.
Know evacuation routes. Have a back-up route planned if the road you normally take is flooded. Have a few specific destinations, such as a friend’s house or other lodging in mind so you don’t waste fuel and perhaps contribute to traffic congestion by driving aimlessly.
Put go-bags together for each member of the family. You’ll need waterproof bags and containers; drinking water and non-perishable food for 72 hours for each person; extra batteries; and chargers; medications; dry clothes; watertight containers; cash and credit cards; and copies of important documents. Find out more on preparing for disasters.
Plan for your pets and large animals. Your household pets and livestock are utterly dependent on you. Ready.gov offers very practical animal-care planning strategies.
Be aware! FEMA’s free mobile app is available for both iOS and Android. It’s a potentially life-saving resource that provides real-time alerts from the National Weather Service, safety tips, and the locations of emergency shelters and disaster recovery centers.
Know the difference between “watch” and “warning.”
- Flood watch – conditions are favorable for a flood in your location; make plans to shore up your property and/or evacuate.
- Flood warning – flooding is imminent or already under way; move to high ground immediately!
Make electronic copies of all your important paperwork and upload them to an online storage account. Document bank information, proof of identity, medical records, contact information, photos, etc.
Make plans for every location where you spend a lot of time. Have emergency supplies stored at home, your workplace, your vehicle, and anywhere else you may find yourself trapped by flood waters.
Fill your gas tank early. Gas may be in short supply if filling stations are closed, or the power grid is down.
Keep your electronics charged. Make sure you are able to stay in touch and people can find you if you’re trapped or injured. Get a cell phone power bank and keep it charged. Keep a portable phone charger in your vehicle. Put your phone or other device in low power mode to conserve energy.
Use alternate power emergency equipment. A hand-crank radio will keep you abreast of emergency news. A light source such as a lantern will help you see and help people locate you in the dark.
Text, don’t call during a mass emergency. Cell towers are likely to be jammed during a mass weather event and a call might not get through. However, text messages (SMS) are transmitted on another channel, which has a lower likelihood of being overloaded.
Let people know you’re safe. Register yourself on the American Red Cross’ Safe and Well site so your family and friends will know you’re all right.
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Product, service, program, credit, and discount availability and limits vary by state. The information provided on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a full explanation of products, services, or coverage. For more information, please contact Electric Insurance Company at 800.227.2757. If there are discrepancies between the information on this site and the policy, the terms in the policy apply.
Electric Insurance Company Risk Coaches help you assess your current coverages and exposure to risk based on the information you provide during your discussion. The services provided are for informational purposes only and do not create a professional or fiduciary relationship. Incomplete information or a change in your circumstances after your meeting may affect coverage requirements or recommendations.
Be aware! Your homeowners insurance won’t cover damage caused by flood waters. You’ll need a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Plan. It takes about 30 days for a flood policy to become effective, so don’t put off getting this important protection. Learn more about flood insurance.