Due to recent flooding in the Central Plains and the south, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers the following flood safety and flood insurance tips for local residents. Now is the time to take steps to prepare for a flood. Those without flood insurance especially should take this time to think about how they can protect themselves from the financial costs of a future flood. You can learn about the NFIP and FloodSmart, the marketing and education campaign of the NFIP, by visiting FloodSmart.gov.

During a Flood

  • Move to high ground. When it floods, go to higher ground. Avoid areas subject to flooding. Be aware of streams, drainage channels, and areas known to flood so that you are not cut off from your evacuation routes.
  • Watch out for water. Don’t walk across flowing streams or drive on flooded roads. Moving water just 6 inches deep can knock you off your feet and cause an injury. Even 2 feet of water is enough to sweep a car off the road.
  • Listen for updates. Listen to the radio or TV for information. Be sure to follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Turn off power. Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so. Don’t touch any electrical devices if you’re wet or in standing water.

After a Flood

  • Check for damage. Check for structural damage before re-entering your home. If you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, or sewer lines, contact authorities.
  • Remove wet items. Immediately remove wet carpeting, furniture, and bedding. Any item holding moisture can develop mold within 24 to 48 hours. Clean and disinfect everything touched by floodwater. Get cleanup tips at emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/floods.
  • Plan before they repair. The rebuilding decisions you make now to lower your risk and insurance costs can result in big benefits over the long term. Contact your local building inspection or planning office or your county clerk’s office to get more information.
  • File your flood insurance claim. To file your claim, you’ll need your insurance company’s name, your policy number, and a number where you can be reached. Take photos of any water in the house and anything damaged in your home. Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost items.
  • Ask about disaster assistance. Federal disaster assistance might be available if the President declares a Federal disaster. When available, this assistance typically comes in the form of a loan and must be paid back with interest.

For more information

  • Contact your local building inspections or planning office or your county clerk’s office to get more information on local building requirements before repairing your structure. If you can’t find a local contact, call your State NFIP coordinator. Contact information can be found at floods.org/statepocs/stcoor.asp.

For more information about flood insurance, visit FloodSmart.gov. To financially protect your property with a flood insurance policy, call your insurance agent or 800-427-2419 to find an agent near you.