Simplify Your Family's Emergency Preparedness

5 Important Ways to Prepare For a Flood

collage of several things to do to prepare for a flood like flood insurance, water filtration, emergency alerts.

**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Did you know that floods are the most common natural disaster? According to FEMA, floods are also the most damaging natural disaster and every state is at risk. 


So whether you live in a designated flood zone or not, you need to know how to prepare for a flood emergency. Keep reading and I’ll walk you through the 5 important ways you can protect your home and family from a potentially scary situation.

#1 - How Can I Be Financially Prepared for a Flood?

Floods can be so incrediby devastating. Just 1 inch of water can cost up to $25,000 to repair! Seems unbelievable, right? If you don’t believe me, has an estimate calculator you can check out.


One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your home is to purchase a flood insurance policy. This will cut down on your out-of-pocket expenses, should you find yourself doing damage repair. If you already have a policy, now is a great time to re-familiarize yourself of the details and make coverage adjustments.


Take pictures of any valuable possessions (and upgrades) around your home. This will serve two purposes:

  1. You have proof for insurance claims.
  2. Emergencies are stressful and it’s easy to forget pretty much everything. Having pictures of what you value will help you put things back together again if you need to.

#2 - What Should I Include In My Flood Emergency Plan?

In addition to being financially prepared, having a family plan will help everyone feel a lot more confident that they’ll know what to do if your home is threatened by rising water.

  • Know if your house is in a designated flood zone. Every county and state will have this posted somewhere, so be sure to check your local government website.
  • Have an evacuation plan. Do you know where the nearest shelter is? Do you know the safest route to get there?
  • Create and review your family communication plan. Who do you need to contact? Where will you all meet? Be sure to post this where everyone in your household can access it. And PRACTICE your plan regularly. This part is especially important if you have young children. 
  • Don’t forget your pets. Does your evacuation plan have contingencies because of your furry friend? Some shelters won’t allow pets. If you decide to ride things out in your home, where will they use the restroom? Can you get your pets to higher ground?
parent helping kids prepare for a flood by reviewing emergency plan.

#3 - What items should I purchase for flood preparedness?

  • 72-Hour Kit for every member of your family
      • I prefer DIY over pre-made kits you can buy at the store.
      • If you need help knowing what to put in your 72-hour kit, I put together this comprehensive checklist.
      • If you want me to hold your hand through the entire process, you can check out this 72-hour kit course.
  • Water Filtration or Storage
      • Flood water is contaminated with all kinds of bacteria, some deadly. You do not want to be washing with it or drinking from faucets that could be exposed.
      • My favorite water filtration method is my Berkey. My family uses ours regularly and we LOVE it. You can read all the reasons why in this post.
      • For information on all the different options for water storage, you can find that here.
  • Generator
      • No, you can’t use it when everything is covered in water. But floods tend to cause power outages and having a generator to power essential appliances after the chaos calms will be very helpful.
  • Backup toilet system
      • This is something that doesn’t cross your mind, but boy will you be happy if you have a backup plan! This bucket toilet (affiliate link) is a great option and travels well if you need to evacuate.
  • Waterproof box
      • It’s not fool-proof, but it will protect all of your important documents.
      • This post reviews what you should consider storing in a fireproof waterproof box.
  • Supply of emergency building items
      • Think about things you would need to cover windows, remove debris, etc.
        • Plywood
        • Wood nails
        • Shovels
        • Hand saw
        • Chain saw
        • Hammers
  • Disposable Camera
      • You’ll need your phone to make contact with loved ones and get updates on your community from local officials. Don’t count on being able to use your phone camera to take pictures of damage.

#4 - How can I protect my house from flooding?

Some of these tasks are flood prevention methods and others are things you can do when flooding is imminent. I’ll break it down into Before, During and After to keep things simplified.

What to do BEFORE a flood:

What to do DURING a flood (or when flooding is imminent):

What to do AFTER a flood:

sandbags in front of front door of house to prepare for a flood.

#5 - How do I stay safe during a flood?

If you do happen to find yourself in a flood situation, remember that the physical safety of your people and pets comes first. Things can be replaced for the most part.


It is imperative that you stay tuned in to what your local first responders and public officials are recommending. We’ve all seen the news stories of people who chose to ignore those recommendations; they put so many lives at risk.


Here are a few tips and resources to help you stay safe:

  • Sign up for emergency notifications from your local public safety companies.
  • Obey evacuation orders.
  • If you’re in a flooded area, avoid electrical hazards.
      • Don’t go in your basement if cords could possibly be underwater.
      • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Wait it out. Whether you had to evacuate or stayed put at home, wait until local officials give you the okay to go out and about.

Let's Recap:

The 5 main ways to prepare for a flood:


  1. Know what repairs could cost and purchase a flood insurance policy.
  2. Have a flood emergency plan.
  3. Purchase and store items that would be useful in a flood situation.
  4. Take steps to protect your house before, during, and after.
  5. Know how to keep your people and loved ones physically safe.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you don’t have time to do any of this, pick ONE thing from this post and get it done. Purchase one of the items mentioned, look up your nearest evacuation shelter…start with one thing. And then maybe next week (or month) do one more thing.

Every little step counts when it comes to being prepared for a natural disaster!

Related Posts:

hands holding a sign.

5 simple things you can do to get your family prepared if you don't have thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours


hands holding a sign.

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