Back to top

Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Flood Safety Tips: What to Do Before, During, and After a Flood

Flooded road .

Severe storms and major catastrophes can lead to floods. Unfortunately, floods can cause a lot of material damage and even place human lives at risk. To help protect you and your property, here are some flood safety tips to keep in mind.

Before a Flood

  • Know what your flood risk is. By using this interactive FEMA flood map, you can determine if your location runs a risk of being flooded.
  • Plan an evacuation route. Find the safest and most efficient way to exit your home. Be sure to practice that route with your family.
  • Make an emergency-preparedness kit. A basic kit should include a gallon of water and sufficient food per person for three days, a flashlight with batteries, and an NOAA Weather Radio. Also think of things like cell phones, medications, important documents, cash, and blankets. If you have pets, pack their food, additional water, medication, and any sanitary supplies needed.
  • Prepare your home. Disconnect appliances, and turn off the power and water at the main source. Move anything valuable or essential to the second floor or as high off the floor as possible. Bring any outdoor furniture inside. Place sandbags around your home to keep water out.

During a Flood

  • Stay tuned for updates. Listen to the radio, and watch your phone for any flood alerts.
  • Evacuate if necessary. Should local authorities advise an evacuation, follow all instructions—otherwise, you could put yourself and your family in a life-threatening situation.
  • Beware of flash floods. If you receive a flash flood warning, get to higher ground immediately.
  • Stay away from rivers, creeks, canals, and even drains. Water can rise quickly around these channels.
  • Don’t ever drive through a flooded area. It can be difficult to see the depth of the water around you, and floodwaters can suddenly rise and sweep you and your vehicle away.

After a Flood

  • Don’t drink water from the municipal supply. Floodwater can become contaminated by oil or sewage leaks. Use bottled water until you receive word from local authorities that the water is safe to drink.
  • Be cautious of downed power lines. Water can become electrically charged after a flood, and this can pose a danger to you.
  • Be careful when entering your home. Floodwater might have weakened the walls or foundation. Always keep safety top of mind.
  • Survey your home for flood damage. Remember to take photographs of any damage, and contact your insurance agent if you need to submit any type of claim.

Family in the kitchen.

Cover home, auto & more.

Encompass Insurance offers protection for the things that matter most.

Find an agent

The general information contained in The Encompass Blog is provided as a courtesy, and is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this website are subject to periodic change without notice. Information provided on The Encompass Blog is not intended to replace official sources. Although attempts will be made to ensure that the information is accurate and timely, the information is presented "as is" and without warranties. Information contained on The Encompass Blog should not be mistaken for professional advice. Information contained herein should not be considered error-free and should not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. Use of website information is strictly voluntary and at the user's sole risk. We encourage you to obtain personal advice from qualified professionals when making decision regarding your specific situation.

Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers. The Encompass Blog does not monitor all linked resources and cannot guarantee their accuracy. Statements, views and opinions included in an independent provider's material are strictly those of the author(s). These views may not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of The Encompass Blog, the Encompass family of companies or its agents, officers or employees.

ECC Monitor: OK