Flood Preparedness Week

During the rainy season, the risk of catastrophic floods exists, even in a drought. In fact, the risk of flooding increases when California is suffering the effects of severe drought, as dry soils from multiyear droughts create perfect conditions for dangerous flash floods. Also, the recent uptick in fires the last few years adds another layer of risk: dangerous landslides and debris flows can rush down fire-scarred hillsides.

Important Flood Tips

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

At Home

  • Look up your address on MyHazards to discover hazards in your area and learn steps to reduce personal risk.
  • View the Operational Area Emergency Services Contacts (PDF) for 24-hour dispatch phone numbers.
  • Share flood preparedness information with neighbors, students, family, and friends. Teach them how to prepare an emergency supply kit and evacuation plan.
  • Establish a family communication plan for emergencies. Your family may not be together during an emergency so think about how you will communicate and where you will meet following an evacuation. Periodically review your plan.
  • Keep storm drains clear. If your property is prone to flooding, have sandbags, plastic sheeting, and other flood-fighting materials on hand.
  • Learn 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.
  • Consider flood insurance. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Ask your insurance agent about obtaining flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Typically, a 30-day wait period is required before a flood insurance policy takes effect. Contact your insurance provider for more information.

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 (PDF), which can be printed and stored in the glovebox. “Turn around don’t drown!”™

Emergency Supply Kits

  • Maintaining emergency supply kits in your home, vehicle, and work 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 and other agencies.
  • Periodically check supplies and refresh water, food, batteries, and first aid items when needed.

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 evacuations issued 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 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.
View our resources and publications below for additional helpful information.

How to Contact Us

Find general contact information in the directory, or select the button below for Division of Flood Management details, including the media contact and how to report flooding through the Flood Operations Center.

Contact Division