What To Do When a Flood is Threatening Your Home

When a flood is predicted, you may want to prepare yourself and your home for a worst case scenario. Here are some things to consider if your area is at risk of flooding:


Emergency Notifications

If your area is expecting a flood, it’s important to stay informed. In addition to keeping up with weather and safety news from local media outlets, there are a few different ways that you can receive emergency alerts.

Community Notifications – Some local municipalities may offer an alert system, so you can register and receive text alerts on your cellphone when local emergencies are in effect.

Wireless emergency alerts –  The federal government has an emergency alert system that local officials can use to send cellphone alerts, even if you haven’t subscribed.

NOAA weather radio. A NOAA weather radio broadcasts weather forecasts, along with watches and warnings, form the National Weather Service 24 hours a day.


Flood Watches vs. Warnings

As you monitor local information, it’s important that you understand the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning. The American Red Cross defines a flood watch as a condition favorable for a flood or flash flood, while a flood warning means a flood, or a flash flood, is either happening or about to happen.


Protecting Your Home From a Flood

If you learn that a flood is possible or inevitable, there are some important steps you can take to help protect your family and home:

Obtain Emergency Supplies

A basic emergency kit should include several key items, such as a three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day), nonperishable food, a battery-operated radio, first aid supplies, a flashlight and batteries.


Prepare Your Home

Before floodwaters reach your area, take the following steps to help protect your home:

  • Clear gutters and downspouts of debris, so water can run freely.
  • Elevate furniture and electronics; set appliances on concrete blocks.
  • Inspect your sump pump and back-up batteries to make sure they’re operational.
  • Shut off utilities if the breaker panel could end up underwater.

You might also want to consider sandbagging if there’s enough time before water reaches your area, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Take Safety Precautions

If your area floods, consider the following advice to keep everyone in your home safe:

  • Avoid electrical hazards. Don’t enter the basement, or any room where floodwaters cover electrical cords or outlets.
  • Obey local evacuation orders.
  • Stay out of floodwaters. Don’t walk or drive through them.


Floods can happen anywhere, so it’s important to also consider whether you may need flood insurance — because homeowners insurance doesn’t typically cover flood damage. Contact our office to discuss the risks in your area and the coverage you may need.


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