Car caught in a flood

Flood Safety Tips: How to Stay Safe in Flood Conditions

Flood safety tip: don't drive into flood waters

Flood safety is serious business. Even a minor flood can cause massive damage and serious injury. If you want to prepare yourself, your home, your family, and your finances against a flood, follow these flood safety tips:

1. Purchase flood insurance

It’s a wise idea to have flood insurance, especially if you live in an area prone to floods. Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover floods, so you’ll have to buy coverage separately. Learn more about the benefits of flood insurance, and see if flood insurance is worth it.

2. Develop an emergency plan with your family

The easiest way to avoid unnecessary danger during a flood is to develop an emergency plan. Be sure you know where to go if your home floods. Formulate the plan with your family, post it in an easily visible spot in your home, and make sure that all family members are clear about the plan. That way, there will be less panic when an emergency flood strikes.

3. Build or buy a flood preparation kit

Your flood preparation kit should only be as big and heavy as you can carry, and it should be in an accessible area of your home. Consider including the following items in your kit, with the essentials like food, water, first aid, and warmth being top priorities:

    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit
    • Medications
    • Cash
    • Batteries
    • Cell phones with chargers
    • Blankets
    • Change of clothes and shoes
    • Nonperishable foods (3 day supply or more)
    • Bottled water (3 day supply or more)
    • Maps
    • Pet supplies (food, medications)
    • Baby supplies (food, bottles, blankets, diapers)
    • Tools (multi-purpose is best)
    • Spare keys (house, cars, lockboxes, etc.)
    • Emergency numbers
    • Rain gear
    • Sunscreen
    • Camera (for damage documentation)
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Alcohol for sanitation purposes

4. Be ready to receive flood warnings

t’s important not only to receive the flood warning and flood watch notifications, but also to receive notifications of when it is safe to return home and what areas to avoid. Television and radio are the easiest ways to receive emergency flood notifications. You should also consider purchasing an NOAA Weather Radio, made specifically for receiving emergency weather alerts.

5. Waterproof your home against flood water

If you have a basement, seal the walls with waterproofing caulking. Make sure that all windows and doors in your home are properly sealed. If you have leaks in your roof, make sure to repair them ASAP to keep up your roof’s integrity. You can also get free sand bags to place around your home to help stem the flow of flood water.

6. Know what to do if your home floods

No home is 100% safe from floods, so it’s important to know what to do if your home floods.

What’s Your #1 Flood Safety Tip?

Tell us about your #1 flood safety tip in the comments or on Twitter.