Disaster Preparedness: Flood Disaster Plan

Are YOU Prepared for a Flood?

Are you and your family prepared in case of a flood? Floods can happen almost anywhere and anytime… All it takes is one big rainstorm for everything to go downhill. If it’s been raining hard for a few hours or raining steadily for a few days, keep your eyes and ears on the TV or radio for possible flood information.

Make sure that you know the flood risk of your area. This can be done with a simple Google search for “Your City” and “Flood Risk.”

Floods can happen quickly or they can develop over a series of hours or even days. Make sure that you know the difference between a flood watch, a flood warning, and flash floods.

  • Flood Watch: There is the possibility for a flood to happen in your area.
  • Flood Warning: There is a flood happening in your city or town. Take precautions to protect yourself and your family.
  • Flash Flood: A flash flood typically occurs over a short period of time (a few minutes or a few hours) and can overwhelm cars on the road as well as pedestrians.


Disaster Preparedness: Flood Disaster Plan

If you are in a flood plain or if there are heavy rains and flooding expected, make sure that your home, family, and business are protected.


Preparing your home before a flood can help save some of your personal items and protect your home from flood damage.

  • Flood Insurance: Did you know that only 15 percent of Americans have flood insurance? Check on your homeowner’s insurance to see if they cover flood damages.
  • Elevate Electrical Systems and Utilities: If possible, raise electrical panels, sockets, and appliances above potential flood levels. Move the furnace, water heater, and electrical units to higher levels.
  • Install Sump Pumps: Use a sump pump with a battery backup to remove water that enters the basement. If you already have one, ensure it’s in working condition and clear any debris.
  • Apply Coatings and Sealants: Use these on walls and floors to prevent water seepage. Use water sealant to prevent seepage through basement walls.
  • Install Check Valves: These prevent floodwater from backing up into your drains. Water level alarms can also alert you if water starts to rise in your home.
  • Build Barriers: Install levees, berms, or floodwalls to protect your property. Use plants and grading to direct water away from your home.
  • Get Gas: Make sure that you have a full tank of gas in case you have to make a quick getaway. Gas is also helpful if you get stuck and need to cook food or keep yourself warm.
  • Secure Fuel Tanks: Anchor propane and fuel tanks to prevent them from floating away.
  • Clean Gutters and Drains: Keep these clear to ensure proper water flow.
  • Move Valuables to Higher Floors: Keep important items and documents in a safe, high place. Place valuables in waterproof bags or containers.
  • Install Flood Sensors: These can alert you when water is accumulating in your home.
  • Document Property: Take photos or videos of your home and belongings as a pre-storm inventory. List your belongings and their values for insurance purposes.
  • Identify a Safe Room: Choose an interior room on a high floor where you can take shelter.
  • Turn Off Utilities: If instructed by authorities, turn off gas, electricity, and water.
  • Stock Up on Cash: Have enough cash on hand in case ATMs and credit card machines aren’t working.
  • Fill Gas Tanks: Ensure your car’s gas tank is full and consider storing extra fuel safely.
  • Backup Chargers: Have backup power banks to charge your phone and other devices. Solar chargers are good for cell phones and other small electronic devices, but generators might be necessary to power larger items.
  • Buy Sandbags or Inflatable Barriers: Place sandbags or other barriers at doorways to block incoming water.
  • Prep Your Freezer and Fridge: Set them to the coldest settings and only open when necessary to preserve food longer during a power outage.
  • Secure Outdoor Items: Move or tie down items that could become projectiles in strong winds.
  • Evacuate if Ordered To: If you are told to evacuate, leave immediately and make your way to high ground. Stay away from rivers, creeks, streams and storm drains
  • After the Flood, Be Cautious Re-entering Your Home: Wait for authorities to give the all-clear, and watch for structural damage as you return.

Tyger Auto Shovel TG-SV8U3217

  • Material: Aluminum, Carbon Steel
  • Color: Black
  • Brand: Tyger Auto
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 10 x 6 x 2 inches
  • Item Weight: 3 Pounds
  • Style: Auto
  • Handle Material: Alloy Steel
  • Blade Material: Carbon Steel
  • Is Foldable: Yes
  • Grip Type: Padded
Plastic Sheeting

Frost King P1025/6W Polyethylene Sheeting

  • Color: Clear
  • Brand: Frost King
  • Material: Plastic
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
  • Item Weight: 7.2 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 5 x 5 x 16.25 inches
  • Included Components: Frost King P1025/6WA Polyethylene Sheeting, 10 ft. x 25 ft. x 4 mil.
  • Size: 10′ x 25′ x 6 mil
Sand Bags

DURASACK Heavy Duty Sand Bags with Tie Strings

  • Brand: DURASACK
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Color: White, Black, Orange, Grey, Yellow
  • Product Dimensions: 26″L x 14″W x 0.1″H
  • Special Feature: 50 lb. capacity, Tie Strings Attached, UV Treated
  • Load Capacity: 50 Pounds
  • Closure Type: Drawstring
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Pack Sizes: 10, 20, 50, or 100


Here are some things you can do to help keep you and your family safe from the next flood.

  • Set Up Emergency Alerts on Your Phone: Receive important weather and safety alerts. Additionally, decide how your family will communicate if separated.
  • Create a Family Emergency Plan: Know where to go and how to communicate with family members. Plan and practice your escape route.
  • Build an Emergency Kit: Include water, non-perishable food, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, and important documents.
  • Stay Informed: Monitor local weather reports and heed warnings.
  • Move Vehicles to Higher Ground: If possible, park your car where it will be safe from rising water.
  • Charge Electronic Devices: Ensure your phone and other devices are fully charged before the storm arrives.
  • Check on Neighbors: Make sure they are aware of the situation and offer help if needed.
  • Avoid Walking/Driving Through Floodwaters: Even a small amount can be dangerous.
  • Emergency Contacts: Have a list of important numbers in case your phone dies.
  • Download Offline Maps: These can be a lifesaver if you lose internet connectivity.
  • Plan for Elderly/Disabled Family Members: Make special preparations for those who may need extra assistance.
  • Prepare a Comfort Kit: Include blankets, warm clothing, and sentimental items that are comforting.
  • Prep a Cleanup Kit: Have brooms, mops, gloves, and cleaners ready for post-flood cleanup.
  • Protective Items: Flood waters are teeming with things like raw sewage, bacteria, and viruses. Having some rubber boots and gloves handy can help keep you and your family protected.
  • Leave Your Car if it Stalls: If your car engine stalls in rising waters, abandon it. Get out immediately, taking your disaster bag with you.


Plan for your pets’ safety too; bring them inside and have a pet emergency kit.

  • Stock Up on Pet Food and Supplies: Have at least a week’s worth of food and supplies for your pets on-hand and ready to go in case of an evacuation.
  • Pet Identification: Ensure your pets have ID tags and are microchipped with up-to-date contact information.
  • Get Vaccinations Up to Date: Ensure you and your pets’ vaccinations are current.
  • Identify Pet-Friendly Shelters or Hotels: Know where you can stay with your pets if you need to evacuate.

Master Disaster Checklist

If you want to keep your property, family, pets, and business safe during natural disasters, it’s important to be prepared. This master checklist gives you a good foundation for what to do, what to have, and what to plan for.

  • Secure Contact Information: Make sure you have a printed out copy as the power may be out and you might not have access to your computer or documents. Include names and telephone numbers, as well as out-of-town friends or family who might be able to help you. It’s important to have an out-of-town friend listed because your friends who live in your town might not be able to help you if a disaster affected them, too. Additionally, prearrange a nearby meet-up place after the emergency. It could be the local high school, a relative’s home, or a grocery store.
  • Have a Plan: Make sure that all of your family knows about your disaster plan (escape routes, where the emergency kit is stored, who to contact, and what to do in case of a natural disaster).
    • Identify a Safe Room: Point out which room is the safest room in your home. This should be an interior room without windows, if possible (maybe a closet or a bathroom). This is the place your family should seek shelter when storm warnings are issued.
  • Stay Informed: Make sure that you have a portable radio with fully charged batteries so that you can get the latest up-to-date information about the disaster. If you are in the path of the disaster, go to your pre-designated shelter area immediately.
  • Take Photos/Video of Your Property: If you have an inventory of your valuables and possessions you are likely to be able to claim up to 20% more insurance than if you don’t. Taking photos and videos with your cell phone is an easy way to document your items. Be sure to upload all the images to secure cloud backup and not just store on your property.
  • Charge Electronic Devices: During a disaster, you may lose power. Ensure your cell phone is fully charged, along with other electronic devices like tablets and laptop computers. Also, think about purchasing a solar-powered backup charging device.
  • Get Cash: When the power goes out, ATM machines won’t work. Get plenty of one dollar bills because not many people will have change for twenty and hundred dollar bills. Try to aim for ones, fives, and tens.
  • Fill Up on Gas: Fill your gas tank. When the power goes out, gas pumps won’t work.
  • Disaster Supplies Kit: A disaster supplies kit is essential to keeping you and your family safe. It should include non-perishable food, water, medical supplies, clothes, pet food and supplies, medications, batteries, flashlights, etc. Consider the following list: 
    • Flashlight
    • Batteries
    • First Aid Kits: For $20, you can have medical supply basics — all in one place — and ready to use. Minor as well as major injuries are possible during an earthquake and it’s possible that emergency services will be overwhelmed, so having a first aid kit is essential.
    • Solar Cell Phone Charger: Solar powered charges start in the mid-$20 range and go up from there. The best selling Amazon solar charger is $60 and is fast with “industrial-strength PET polymer faced solar panels sewn into a rugged polyester canvas offer weather-resistant outdoor durability.” If the power goes out, you might have no other way to charge your phone.
    • Crank-Powered Radio: You can pay upwards of $100 for a decent crank radio, but you don’t have to spend that much. The best-selling Amazon crank radio is only $20!
    • Emergency Water Filter: There’s no need for an expensive filtration system. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter has 5,000 reviews and is only $20! The LifeStraw “removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters to 0.2 microns; surpasses EPA filter standards.”
    • Bottled Water (minimum of three gallons for each member of your family)
    • Battery-Powered Radio
    • Battery-Powered Lantern
    • Emergency Food Supply
    • Can Opener
    • Basic Tools (utility knife, pliers, wrench, tape, compass)
    • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, toilet paper)
    • Pencils and Paper
    • Pet Supplies (food, litter)
    • Rain Gear
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Change of Clothes
    • Plastic Garbage Bags
    • Face Masks
    • Gloves
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Cleaning Wipes
  • Have a “Go Bag”: Having an emergency bag packed with essentials (food, clothes, toiletries, cash, etc.) can save you time in a crisis. P.S. A little bit of toilet paper goes a long way…
  • Gather Your Important Papers: Keep all special papers and photographs in a watertight container or plastic bag. You know, all of those important things like bank account papers, birth certificates, property deeds, medical cards, social security cards, etc. as well as photos and important keepsakes which can never be replaced. During a disaster, they could all be ruined and washed away forever in one whoosh!
    • Identification (copy of driver’s license or passport)
    • Insurance Policies
    • Birth Certificates
    • Marriage Certificates
    • Proof of Residence (copy of lease, mortgage documents)
    • Deeds or Wills
    • Tax Returns
    • Social Security Cards
  • Plan for Your Pets: Many hotels and motels won’t accommodate your pets, so if your plan is to evacuate to a hotel, then you’ll need to find them a safe boarding kennels or cattery which is outside of the disaster’s impact zone. Be sure you have plenty of your pet’s preferred food and whatever medications they might need.
  • Refill Your Medications: Make sure that you have plenty of your prescription medicines on hand. If a disaster hits your area, the last thing you want to worry about is a medical emergency. 
  • Disaster Insurance: Check your insurance coverage as part of your disaster preparedness plan. Many home insurance policies do not cover hazards like flooding caused by hurricanes, for example. If you live in a disaster-prone area, consider getting insurance to cover damages.
  • Have a Plan for After the Disaster: After a disaster, get out of town until emergency services and law enforcement have gotten control of the situation. Unfortunately, like many other disaster situations, there are people who will try to take advantage of the chaos. It’s best to avoid being in the disaster zone until things are under control.