Before a Flood: How to Prepare

Is flooding imminent in your area? IBHS offers resources on what you can do when a flood is expected in your area from a personal safety perspective and a property preparedness perspective.

First, it is important to listen regularly to your local news and your local emergency officials for any updates on the situation; flooding can sometimes happen quickly. You can find the latest forecasts and hazardous weather conditions at and In addition, some smart phones are able to receive Flash Flood Warning alerts via the Wireless Emergency Alerts system. Visit for more information.  You also can learn more about common types of flooding and what flood warnings mean on NOAA’s website at

While you are taking personal safety precautions, such as preparing an evacuation kit with important papers, insurance documents, medications and needed items for your family and pets, IBHS recommends you take the actions on this checklist to reduce property damage to your home:

 Clear drains, gutters and downspouts of debris.
 Move furniture and electronics off the floor, particularly in basements and on first floor levels.
Roll up area rugs, where possible, and store them on higher floors or elevations. This will reduce the chances of rugs getting wet and growing mold.
 Inspect sump pumps and drains to ensure proper operation. If a sump pump has a battery backup, make sure the batteries are fresh or replace the batteries.
 Shut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets will be under water.
 Place all appliances, including stove, washer and dryer on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.