Flood Safety Checklist


Assess the likely floodplain in relation to your property so when flooding is predicted you are aware of the potential risk.
Determine the location of the nearest safe area and evacuation routes.
Keep a stock of food that requires little or no cooking and refrigeration; electric power may be interrupted.
Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, lights, and flashlights available.
Keep first-aid and critical medical supplies (prescriptions, insulin, etc.) at hand.
Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, filling stations may not be able to operate pumps until power is restored.
Keep materials such as sandbags, sand, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.
Do not stack sandbags directly up against the outside wall of your home in an attempt to keep water out of a basement or subfloor. Water penetration is still likely and the additional pressure of the sandbags on the walls and under the floors may cause structural damage.
Bring outdoor possessions inside the house or tie them down securely.
Ensure culverts and waterways are clear to promote water flow away from your residence.


Store drinking water in clean containers and fill sinks and bathtubs as water service may be interrupted.
If flooding is likely and time permits, move essential items, valuable papers, jewelry, and furniture to upper floors of your house or higher elevations.
If forced or advised to leave your home, move to a safe area before access is cut off.
Shut off all electric circuits at the fuse panel or disconnect all electrical appliances. Shut off the water service and gas valves in your home.


Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
If you are caught in the house by rising floodwaters, move to the second floor, and if necessary, to the roof. Take warm clothes, a flashlight, and portable radio with you. Wait for help. Don't try to swim to safety.
When outside the house try to avoid flooded areas and do not attempt to cross a flowing stream where water is above your knees.
Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. You may be stranded and trapped.
If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Many people drown while trying to rescue their car.


Do not call 911 unless you have an emergency.
If your home, apartment, or business has been damaged, contact your insurance company.
Review buildings for potential structural damage. If concerned, contact a professional building inspector.
Prior to entering, turn off outside gas lines at the meter or tank, and allow sufficient time for the structure to air out.
Use flashlights rather than tools with exposed flames such as matches, lanterns, or torches to provide illumination as gas or other flammables may still be trapped inside.
Be alert for damaged power lines or submerged electrical equipment and do not handle or manipulate impacted electrical systems until they have been checked by a licensed electrician.
Report broken utility lines to police, fire, or other appropriate authorities.
Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters.
Test drinking water to determine if it is potable; wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking.
Do not visit disaster areas. Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
Monitor radio and TV stations for advice and instructions on: