Prepare For Floodwaters

Know what to do when the water starts to rise.

Flooding happens quickly and often from the slightest amount of rain or storm run-off. But there are some easy steps to take to protect your home from potential flooding and to protect yourself during flooding conditions.

To be sure you're ready, visit these sites for the latest information about flooded and/or closed roads, highways and neighborhoods.

To check area road conditions

In Tennessee, call 511
In Arkansas, call 1-800-245-1672
In Mississippi, call 601-987-1211
In Missouri, call 1-800-222-6400

Five simple steps:

  • Know your area’s flood risk. If you don’t, you can contact your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
  • Make sure every family member knows what to do in case of a flood and choose a safe meeting place outside of the home using your family communication plan. Practice an evacuation route with your family in the event of flooding.
  • If there is water in your home, as soon as it is safe to do so, disconnect all electrical/electronic equipment and move it to a dry location.
  • Be extremely cautious when driving, especially if you encounter standing water. Do not attempt to drive through standing water, as it may be much deeper than you expect.
  • Be alert to the possibility of flooded streets if it has been raining hard for several hours or steadily raining for several days, and never drive into a flooded street or underpass.

Other steps:

  • Clear any drains, gutters and downspouts of debris and make sure your yard’s grading directs water away from your home.
  • If you have a basement that takes on water during the rainy season, consider installing a sump pump with a backup power.
  • Raise your furnace, water heater, or electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
  • Animals lose their homes in floods, too. Be aware that even domesticated animals may be confused and unpredictable in a flood situation.
  • Remove as much standing water as possible from inside your home. Begin to remove water-damaged materials immediately.
  • Ventilate with fans and/or dehumidifiers.
  • Acting quickly can help increase your chances of salvaging usable materials, reduce the amount of rust, rot and mold that might develop, and limit the likelihood of structural problems.
  • Be aware that many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover for some types of flood damage. Contact your personal insurance agent for more information or limitations.