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Content developed in collaboration with National Organization on Disability's Emergency Preparedness Initiative


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A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land. A flash flood develops rapidly, without advance notice.

How to Identify a Flood

  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring

How to Prepare for a Flood

  • See Get A Kit and Make A Plan for general information
  • Discuss special needs you may have during a flood with your support network and plan accordingly
  • Have a licensed electrician raise electric components at least a foot above your home's projected flood elevation
  • Install backflow valves or plugs in drains, toilets, and other sewer connections to prevent floodwaters from entering
  • Elevate furnace, water heater, and electric panel if your area is susceptible to flooding
  • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage

How to Respond to a Flood

  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so; do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water

  • If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture; move essential items to an upper floor
  • Sanitize bathtubs, sinks and plastic soda bottles with bleach and fill with clean water
  • Move to higher ground
  • Do not attempt to pass through moving water
  • Do not drive into flooded areas
  • If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car

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