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Prepare for the Possibility of Flooding

To ensure you and your family are ready for natural disasters, including floods, develop a family emergency plan, have a household inventory, copies of critical documents and emergency supply kits.

Determine your family’s risk of flooding: Many areas of California are prone to different types of flood events. To determine your risk at home, work and in your community, please visit the Finding Your Flood Risk webpage, which has links to maps showing flood hazards in your area. This webpage also provides technical map information from FEMA for use in GIS applications.

At Home

  • Put together emergency supply kits that you can grab and go. Please see the Preparation and Recovery webpage for more information.
  • It’s also important to know how to turn off water,gas and electricity connections to your home in the event that your home is flooded. Contact your local utility companies for their help.
  • Do not try to escape rising floodwater by going into the attic unless you have roof access or unless it’s your only option.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, consider purchasing flood insurance. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover damages incurred by flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. For more information, please visit FloodSmart.gov.

In Your Vehicle

  • Driving through flood waters is extremely dangerous; more people are trapped and die in their vehicles than anywhere else during a flood.
  • It’s important to be prepared and aware of potential hazards when you’re away from home.
  • For more tips on vehicles and flood waters, see NOAA’s Flooding Safety Card, which can be printed and stored in the glovebox. “Turn around don’t drown!”™

Emergency Supply Kits

  • Maintaining emergency supply kits in your home as well as in your vehicle can provide essential supplies during the initial days following a flood. Examples of emergency supply kits can be found at Ready.gov.
  • Be sure to include any medications necessary for you and your family.
  • If you have pets, you can access the list of supplies recommended by the Red Cross website and other agencies.

Maintain Awareness

  • Be aware of the possibility of flooding to make sure you and your family have adequate time to prepare for an evacuation. Maintain awareness of incoming storms, weather watches, warnings and evacuationsissued by the National Weather Service.
  • Television and radio stations are a source of weather forecasts and emergency messages before and during a severe weather event.
  • Consider purchasing a radio capable of picking up National Weather Service broadcast frequencies.

Smartphone Applications

  • The Red Cross has also developed applications for your smartphone to help you understand and prepare for emergencies, including flooding. Download these applications from iTunes and Google Play app stores or visit the Red Cross website.