Flood Preparedness | 4 Things You Should Do

Flood Preparedness is a topic that applies to a huge number of people. Flooding can destroy tremendous amounts of agriculture and it can damage or destroy homes (and lives).

According the American Red Cross, and others, “Floods are among the most Frequent and Costly natural disasters.”

Floods and Flash Flooding are natural disasters that will strike in deserts, rain forests, populated areas, rural areas, mountains, valleys… It’s pretty much possible anywhere.

A flood can result from heavy or prolonged rain, melting snow, ice jams, storm surge, coastal storms, dam overflows, and other water systems.

Flooding can be slow, or a Flash Flood can occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

Flash floods are especially dangerous because they may happen without warning. In just a few minutes roaring water carrying debris – even boulders – can sweep away most things in their path.

Small streams, creeks, culverts, or even dry stream-beds that appear harmless in dry weather can flood. And it can happen fast.


Flood Preparedness

These are the four things you should do:

1. Know your area history
2. Be prepared to evacuate
3. Stay safe with these Flood Preparedness Tips
4. Flood insurance


Flood History of Your Area

If you already live in a flood zone or floodplain, know (research) the flooding history of your area.

Find out how often they happen where you live. And then prepare accordingly.

Here’s a online tool where you can enter your address to discover your flood risk: Flood Map Service Center

If you are located in an area that is susceptible to flooding (or even if you don’t), you should have a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert for watches and warnings.

Continue reading: Best Weather Alert Radio – Which One Should I Get?


Be Prepared to Evacuate

You don’t want to mess around with flood waters! Water is LOTS more powerful than you may think.

6 to 12 inches of water on the road will likely float your vehicle. Now it’s too late to get out, evacuate.

You should do 2 things, and figure this out ahead of time:

1. Decide WHERE you would go.
2. Decide the ROUTE to get there.

Maybe a hotel out of the flood zone. Or family or friends home. Know a route that DOES NOT go throw low lying flood-prone areas.

Read more: Time to Evacuate – But Where Will You Go?

Best Route to Evacuate


Flood Preparedness Tips for Staying Safe

Do you have an emergency kit in your vehicle? You should!
Continue reading: 10 Essential Items in a Emergency Kit

Survival Gear for Preparedness | What You Need and Why

Turn off utilities in your home. Know how to do it. At least unplug your appliances and devices before you leave. Whatever you do, don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.

1st floor and basement items may become damaged or entirely ruined. If you have time, move valuables and furniture that you hope to save, to higher floors of the home.

Avoid contact with floodwater. Why? Because it may be contaminated with sewage.

Flood waters may contain dangerous insects or animals. Watch out for snakes in areas that were flooded. Flood waters flush snakes from their homes.

Drinking water: It’s safest to boil your tap water for drinking until it has been declared safe. A quality drinking water filter will provide assurance of safe drinking water.

Travel Berkey Water Purification
(Berkey Review)

Food: If any food has come into contact with flood water, dispose of it.

If you’re out hiking or camping, particularly in areas that are not very familiar to you, be sure you understand the risks in your area. A torrential thunderstorm 20 miles away could result in a torrential flash flood where you are, on a nice sunny warm day…


What about flood insurance?

Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. But flood insurance does. You can find more information at FloodSmart.gov.

You can get flood insurance through private insurance agents. They get it underwritten through the National Flood Insurance Program

Even people living in high-risk areas have access to flood insurance. To get a mortgage to buy a home in certain FEMA designated flood zones will require you to purchase flood insurance.

Apparently, about one-quarter of flood damage claims come from areas that were not considered at high risk for floods. So, you may want to think seriously about flood insurance if you are at risk. Regular homeowners insurance policies don’t cover it.

Read more: Homeowners Insurance Inventory – Here’s What To Do


In summary regarding natural disasters, FLOODING is very likely overall.

It can be completely devastating when it hits. Consider your vulnerability where you live. Have a plan in case it happens. Consider flood insurance protection.

Continue reading: A Hurricane Preparedness List


  1. $Billions lost this year alone in Nebraska, Millions of Cattle, and Millions of acres of Produce (Corn, Wheat, Soy).

    Plus billions of $ in Home repairs.

    Even sadder, the number of lives lost.

    Ken’s words about evacuation really need to be heard.

    I’m going to add a little, just cause that’s the way I am;

    Home flooding; each year my company does literally $millions in Water and Flood damage in this area.

    A lot of Storm Damage destroying roofs and flooding the home,

    Site drainage problems with the “lay of the land” funneling the runoff right into the Glass Backdoor, ever see a small river flowing through a home?.

    Frozen “Swamp Cooler” water lines that people forget about that flood the home when they thaw.

    BUT the best one yet was a $280,000 repair on a 2 story with a basement home. The owners had left on vacation for 3 weeks, at about day 2 (as far as we could figure) the little water line going to the toilet on the top floor burst….. Yes Sir, all of the ceilings were on the floors, all the walls were full of water, and the Basement had literally 4 feet of water in it. All electrical, All cabinetry, flooring, walls, EVERYTHING in the house was ruined and that’s without personal property damage, just the home was at $280,000. BTW, they were out of their home for almost 8 months total.

    A suggestion, if you leave home, take 5 seconds to turn off the Water so you don’t FLOOD your home.

    This year we here in the 4 corners have a 170% Snow Pack with the rivers already at full capacity, wonder if we’re going to have any flooding?

    We have already started to hire more people.

    1. The first home I ever owned. Long story short, it flooded from the 3rd story down to the basement. Back in ~1998 dollars it was $85K in damage.

      I had a new job, we moved out of the home we had purchased and left to ‘greener pastures’. It was winter. I had decided to keep the home and rent it out (2-family home).

      Well wouldn’t you know it, during the time we were out and before any new tenant moved in, a pipe on the 3rd-floor attic (there was a bathroom up there with 2 additional rooms) FROZE. And then BURST.

      Water deluged out for days before anyone knew.

      I had not shut the water off because I thought the thermostat heat would be high enough (but it wasn’t). There was a wicked cold spell, well below zero, and there evidently was insufficient heating to compensate in that particular area within the wall.

      Thank God insurance paid for it. It took a long time to get it all repaired. I eventually sold the place a few years later. The insurance repairs actually helped on the resell value!


      And flooding doesn’t always come from ‘nature’!

      1. My momma left me a little house when she passed. I did not live there, but had the heat, water and electric on so we could work on the house. One really cold winter I get a call from the neighbor. ” Sounds like water is running in the house” Sigh………. when I got there frozen Niagara was coming out the front window. The water heater was up in the stand up attic. A very small part of the insulation had fallen off the copper pipe. A split about an inch long was spewing water and had been for awhile. As some luck would have it I had purchased insurance on the house. Momma did not have any. Check the insulation on your pipes!

        1. But you’re not on top of Haleakalā. Hang out up there for a while. LOL Should be 35 tonight up at the AF observatory. The hot toddies will be cooking on the tail gates and Coleman stoves tonight!!! LMAO Kula only at 47. Poor babies. LOL

  2. Last summer the ‘thing’ that lets the washing machine know that it has enough water, quit working.

    If I had not been home and notice a little problem it would have run forever……

    1. I had this happen to me. Flooded out the laundry room and part of the kitchen along with a pantry. Not fun clean up either. This article was a good reminder for me since I will be traveling a little bit in another month.

  3. If my place ever floods, I will have a whole bunch of folks in my yard………….praying. On the other hand, my insurance agent first told me, when I set about insuring my home after completion, that I was inside the New Madrid quake zone and my homeowner’s policy wouldn’t cover earthquakes. After more research he found I lived 5 miles outside the cut-off radius and didn’t have to apply for a high risk earthquake rider.

  4. Luckily we live on the saddle of a mountain. The water runs downhill if it rains. I checked the FEMA map and our whole county (the largest in NM) isn’t even mapped.

  5. And…..you have to know WHAT KIND of “flood insurance” to pay for. In most states there isn’t just “flood insurance”, you have to get BOTH types:
    1. Floods caused by water that comes from clouds.
    2. Floods caused by water that comes from the ground.
    I was about 100 feet distant, and 10 feet above, from not having “the right” insurance. The communist inspired insurance scam industry discriminates between water that comes from above and water that comes from below.

    Add insurance ‘agents’ to politicians for the open season remark earlier.

  6. In 2014 we had flood in my town. It was disaster! In the middle of the town was 7 meters of water. My mothers (in law) flat was full of dirty water. Everything inside was completely destroyed. She hadn’t insurance. Big and expensive mistake!
    She lost her car and all belongings.
    Flood is very dangerous and makes expensive damage.

  7. i think it was back in 1972 a MAJOR hurricane came through ny area and then stalled right on top of the state it dumped close to foot of rain in a already rain soaked area
    WE personally got lucky as we where in a hilly area and we got wet nothing more farther down state like bingamton and bath got HAMMERED whole streets got washed away people drowned and whole small towns got wiped away several small towns where abandoned completely people just gave up and walked away forever
    floods are not a joke they kill more people than ANY OTHER NATURAL DISASTER all you have to do is look up what happened after katrina and new orleans every thing you said is dead on the money between 9/11 and katrina those 2 things are what got me started into prepping

    1. “all you have to do is look up what happened after katrina and new orleans”
      I assume you mean besides the unconstitutional gun grabs?

  8. I would add as part of lessons learned. When my yard flodded out due to a hurricane our well was covered with contaminated flood water and it intruded in to the well.

    After I decontaminated the well flushing it out and giving 3 bleach treatments followed by water testing from the county.
    I set out to figure out a better way to help prevent this from happening again. The simple fix was to extend the well head 2 foot off of the ground. Next I installed a 5 stage Reverse Osmosis System for drinking water in the home. The 5th stage is for micro organisms. You can check it out lookup US Water.
    My well water was always a little iffy after i installed the RO the drinking water is now safe and clean. Sent a sample to the county just to verify it was clean.

  9. When I lived in Germany the first couple of years i was in a high-rise building. The couple who lived several stories above me had a roll-away dishwasher. Not wanting to come home to dirty dishes, they loaded it and hooked it up to the sink, then left for the weekend.

    Yeah, it broke and flooded half the building, including my apartment. They were able to shut off water to the apartment about 5 hours after it broke. We had about 6 inches in our floor on the 2nd floor (third floor, American count) and a LOT of damage. Their insurance paid ‘most’ of it.
    – Papa S.

Comments are closed.