Floods & Hurricanes


Preparing For Floods & Hurricanes


Before the Threat of a Hurricane:

Step One: Build an Emergency Supply Kit

Kit Contents:

  • Water (One gallon per person per day)
  • Food
  • Medications and Information
    • 3 Day Supply of Essential Medication
    • Photocopies of Medical Insurance Cards
    • List of Prescription Medications, including Dosage and Allergies
    • Aspirin, Antacids, Anti-Diarrheal, etc.
    • Extra Eyeglasses, Hearing Aid Batteries, Wheelchair Batteries, Oxygen, etc.
    • List of the Style and  Serial Numbers of Medical Devices, i.e. Pacemakers
  • First Aid Kit (20 Adhesive Bandages, 5” x 9” Sterile Dressing, Conforming Roller Gauze Bandage, 3x3 Sterile Gauze Pads, 4x4 Sterile Gauze Pads, Roll of 3” Cohesive Bandage, Germicidal Hand Wipes or Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer, Six (6) Antiseptic Wipes, Pair of Large Medical-Grade Non-Latex Gloves, Adhesive Tape, Antibacterial Ointment, Cold Pack, Scissors, Tweezers, CPR Breathing Barrier (Face Shield))
  • Tools and Supplies (Battery Operated Radio (& Extra Batteries), NOAA Radio, Flashlight, Cash/Travelers Checks, Copy of Disaster Plan, Map of Your City and State, Utility Knife, Non-Electric Can Opener, Small Fire Extinguisher, Pliers and Wrench, Tape, Waterproof Matches, Paper, Pens, Pencils, Needle and Thread, Plastic Sheeting, Aluminum Foil, Eyedropper)
  • Sanitation Supplies (Toilet Paper, Towelettes, Soap, Liquid Detergent, Feminine Supplies, Personal Hygiene Items, Diapers, Plastic Bucket with Tight Lid, Plastic Garbage Bag, Ties (For Personal Sanitation Uses), Disinfectant, 1 Gallon of Household Chlorine Bleach)
  • Clothing and Bedding (At Least One Change of Clothing, Gloves, Thermal Underwear, Rain Gear, and Sturdy Pair of Shoes, Blankets, Sleeping Bags, and Rain Gear)
  • Important Family Documents (Will, Insurance Policies, Contracts, Deeds,  Stocks and Bonds, Bank Account Numbers, Credit Card Account Numbers and Companies , Family Records (Birth, Marriage, Death Certificates), Medical Insurance and Medicare Cards)
  • Entertainment (Deck of Cards, Books, Portable Music Device, Small Toy, Stuffed Animal, Coloring Book (Children))
  • Appropriate Food Items (Canned Fruits, nuts, crackers, juice boxes, dried fruits, whole grain cereals, protein bars, ceral bars, canned meats, canned beans, etc.)
Emergency Kit Tips:
  • Store kit in a convenient location, known to all family members
  • Keep a smaller version of this kit in each car
  • Individuals with special needs or disabilities should plan to have enough supplies to last up to two weeks (syringes, catheters, etc.)
  • Keep copies of important family documents in a waterproof container
  • Don’t forget to rotate and replace expired items throughout the year
Step Two: Make a Family Emergency Plan
  • Include Names of Family Members, Pets, Individual Certifications (i.e. CPR), Location of Emergency Kit, Emergency Contact Numbers, Radio/Television Stations for Updates
  • Create a Chart for Each Type of Emergency (Flooding, Earthquake, Fire, etc.) Listing Meeting Place in Home, Evacuation Location, and Who to Contact if Away from Home
  • Keep your vehicles fully fuelled.
  • Have a certain amount of cash available. If power is lost, ATMs may not be working. 
Step Three: Protect Your Property
  • Everyone at risk should consider flood insurance protection (ask your insurance agent or visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information).
  • Thin and trim trees and shrubs: remove weak and dead trees and limbs from the property
  • Keep rain gutters and downspouts clear of debris
  • Bring in outdoor items such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and used as a missile.
  • Make sure storage sheds, children’s playhouses or other outbuildings are securely anchored, either to a permanent foundation or with straps and ground anchors.
  • Elevate articles in your basement that could be damaged from even minor flooding.
  • If you do not have permanent hurricane shutters:
    • Buy any items needed to board up windows and protect your home
    • Marine Plywood is considered the best
    • Cut the plywood to fit each window and pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws, well in advance of the threat of a hurricane.
  • Make a record of your personal property. Keep an itemized list of your furniture, clothing and valuables to assist adjusters in case of a claim. Back it up with photographs or video.
  • Protect your insurance policies and other important documents in a secure place like a safe deposit box or a watertight box. Many people back up important documents online.
  • Learn where gas pilots and water mains are located and how to safely shut off all utilities.
  • Lock doors and windows to ensure that they are closed tightly to help protect against strong winds and rain.
  • Boat owners who plan on taking their vessels out of the water soon should consider doing so this weekend.
Step Four: Stay Informed
Additional Tips Before a Flood or Hurricane:
Anywhere it rains, it can flood. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a flood is a general and temporary condition where normally dry land is inundated by water or mudflow. Many conditions can result in a flood: hurricanes, broken levees, outdated or clogged drainage systems and rapid accumulation of rainfall.
Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future. Flood risk isn't just based on history, it's also based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.
The following links provide information on what you can do before, during, and after a flood and/or a hurricane.  
  • Obtain appropriate levels of flood insurance to minimize financial losses. Find out about the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov.
  • Find out about some basic steps to take to prepare for the storm by visiting the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention athttp://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/index.asp.
  • For general information about How to Prepare for a Hurricaneclick here.  
  • For information about How to Prepare for a Power Outageclick here.  
  • For information about Food and Water Safety During Floods and Hurricanesclick here
  • For information about How to Keep Foods Safe During an Extended Power Outage,  click here
After a Flood or Hurricane:
  • For information about Re-Entering a Flooded Homeclick here.
  • For information about Cleaning Up Flood Waterclick here.
  • For information about Moldclick here.
  • For information regarding Flooded Garden Produceclick here.