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What to do to be prepared before a flood

Educate Yourself

After getting flood insurance, there are several things you can do to minimize losses in your home and ensure your family's safety.

1. Safeguard your possessions.

Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:

  • A copy of your insurance policies with your agents contact information.
  • A household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims. See Home Inventory for suggestions
  • Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases.

2. Prepare your house.

  • First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Anchor any fuel tanks.
  • Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home's projected flood elevation.
  • Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
  • Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
  • Take precautions by creating walls and/or barriers to protect/contain/divert water away from your home and property. See flood control solutions to select the best products to protect your home and property from flood damage.

3. Develop a family emergency plan.

  • Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911.
  • Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground.
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.
  • Have a plan to protect your pets.

For more information on emergency preparation, talk to your insurance agent or visit Ready.gov.

Stay Safe During a Flood
Learn your risk, and find an agent, by taking Your Risk Profile.

Flood Prevention Tools:

Click the link below to estimate what the potential flood damage cost would be for your home.


Choose the your house size and the estimated rainfall or flooding that is expected to see how much cost you could incur due to flooding.

This will help you to better estimate the risks, identify what are big ticket items you want to protect. Then make a plan to implement necessary prevenative measures before the storm comes to avoid costly water damage repairs.


Related Products:

For small to moderate flooding:
Flood Barriers

For moderate to heavy flooding:
Sandless Sandbags

For heavy to severe flooding:
Water Gate

Related Information:

Flood / Emergency:

Flood Safety Tips: Food Safety

Flood Safety Tips: Safe Drinking Water

Emergency Preparation: Create an Inventory of Your Home

Be Prepared: What to do before a flood