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Be aware of the best practices for flood readiness, and the use of National Weather Service flood forecast and warning tools. Floods, big or small, can have devastating effects on your home and your family. You can take steps to reduce the harm caused by flooding. Learn how to prepare for a flood, stay safe during a flood, and protect your health when you return home after a flood.

Be SMART When it Storms

 Preparing for a Flood
Learn how to prepare for a flood, including how to create a plan, supplies you’ll need, and getting your home ready.

 Floodwater Safety
Floodwater and standing water can be dangerous. Protect yourself and your loved ones from risks brought on by floods.

 Returning Home
Returning home after a flood? Be aware that your home may be contaminated with mold or sewage. Take steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.


  • Gather emergency supplies and follow local radio or TV updates.
  • Unplug appliances to prevent electrical shock when power comes back on.
  • Do NOT drive or walk across flooded roads. Cars and people can be swept away.
  • When power lines are down, water is in your home, or before you evacuate, TURN OFF gas, power, and water.
  • Tie down or bring outdoor items inside.
  • Recognize Flood Risk
    - Identify flood-prone or landslide-prone areas near you.
    - Know your community’s warning signals, evacuation routes, and emergency shelter locations.
    - Know flood evacuation routes near you.


  • Throw away items that cannot be disinfected, like wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall.
  • Use fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers for drying.
  • For cleanup, wear rubber boots and plastic gloves.
  • Clean walls, hard floors, and other surfaces with soap and water. Use a mixture of 1 cup bleach and 1-gallon water to disinfect.
  • Caution! Flood water may contain trash.
  • Practice Safe Hygiene
    - Wash hands with soap and water to help prevent germs.
    - Listen for information from your local officials on how to safely use water to drink, cook, or clean.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Never drive through flooded areas. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

mp4Stay a Float in Flooding Tips to Prepare
Size 7.86 MB


mp4When the Clouds Form - Flood Preparedness Animated Video
Size 8.82 MB

Have a Plan, Know the Impacts, Know More than the Hurricane Path, Get Prepared and Help Your Community

Get your home ready for a flood

  • Make sure you secure or protect any hazards in your home before the flood strikes.
  • Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher if you do not already have one. Make sure your family knows where it is and how to use it.
  • Buy and install sump pumps with back-up power.
  • Have a licensed electrician raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12″ above your home’s projected flood elevation.
  • For drains, toilets, and other sewer connections, install backflow valves or plugs to prevent floodwaters from entering.
  • Anchor fuel tanks which can contaminate your basement if torn free. An unanchored tank outside can be swept downstream and damage other houses.

Video: Flood Smart DIY in 5 Steps

Tornado | Rain and Floods | Earthquakes | Lightning | Volcanoes | Winter Storm

Disaster Safety Plans

 Public Downloads

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Public Downloads - Español (Spanish)

When available, we provide all our content with a Spanish version in our public download section. You can find additional material from sources listed in all our articles.

Educational Materials

Download Emergency Preparedness, People with Special Needs, Ready Wrigley, Natural Disasters and Severe Weather Activities

 Playlist: Danger Rangers

Seven animal heroes called the "Danger Rangers," their robot Fallbot, and their artificial intelligence called SAVO teach children about safety through examples, such as environmental hazards and unsafe places.

Read More: Wikipedia

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