Severe Weather: What to do during a flood

Each year, flooding claims more lives than any other kind of severe weather. Watch weather conditions and evacuate if needed in the occurrence of a flood to keep your family safe.

house home cars in flooded water


  • Listen to radio or watch TV for information on conditions.
  • Move furniture and valuables, including important legal papers, to higher floors.
  • Gas up your vehicle, in case of an evacuation notice.
  • Secure items that may be washed away. Learn how here.


  • Locate Storm Readiness Kit. Plan yours here.
  • Fill sinks, tubs and buckets with water. This water can be used for hygiene.
  • If you have a well, seal it to keep out silt and debris.
  • Shut off electricity at your main panel, if the floor beneath the panel is dry.
  • Attach rigid foam insulation or plastic sheeting around the outside first floor walls. Water will get in, but most of the silt will be kept out.
  • Be ready to leave on short notice if evacuation is required.


If the notice to evacuate is given, leave as soon as possible.

  • Gather all prescription medications and add them to your Storm Kit.
  • Let an emergency contact person know you’re leaving and what route you’ll take.
  • Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
  • Do not drive around barricades or through flooded areas.
  • If your vehicle stalls in rapidly rising water, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

For additional information, visit and consult your local authorities. Flood conditions vary enormously depending on your location.

Turn Around Don’t Drown

Each year, flooding claims more lives than any other kind of severe weather. The National Weather Service has devised signs with the slogan “Turn Around Don’t Drown” to warn people not to walk or drive through flood waters. Moving water 6 inches deep can knock over an adult, and water less than 1 foot deep can wash away a truck. It’s easy to underestimate the power of floodwater. Play it safe: Turn Around Don’t Drown.

Information for this post was made in collaboration with Lowes for a severe weather guide.

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