Floods and Your Family

Floods and Your Family

Floods are one of the most common, and most costly, natural disasters. Preparing now for flood situations can minimize injury to yourself and your family and speed the recovery process.

Use this checklist to start preparing your family before a flood and learn what to do during and after a flood situation.

Floods and Your Family [PDF]

Determine the risk of flooding in your area.

Interactive State Flooding Information Map
Click on a state to learn more about the types of flooding that has occurred there.
National Weather Service
Water Watch: Map of Flood and High Flow Conditions
Map showing current flood or high flow conditions in the United States.
U.S. Geological Survey

Know the Terminology

Flood Watch: conditions are favorable for flooding.

Flood Warning: flooding is imminent or occurring.

Flash Flood Watch: conditions are favorable for flash flooding - typically within 6-48 hours.

Flash Flood Warning: issued when flash flooding is imminent or occurring.

More Flood Preparedness Factsheets

Additional Resources

After a Flood: The First Steps
Steps to take immediately after a flood situation.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Be Red Cross Ready: Flood Safety Checklist
Checklist of actions to take before, during and after a flood to protect you and your family.
American Red Cross (ARC)
Clean Up Safely After a Disaster
Website with links to specific disaster cleanup and hazard topics.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Cleaning and Sanitizing With Bleach After an Emergency
Recommendations and safety tips for using bleach for cleaning and sanitizing after an emergency.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Cleaning Flood-Soiled Clothing and Bedding
Factsheet on cleaning and salvaging clothing and bedding damaged by flood waters.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Dealing with Flooding
Website of resources for planning for and recovery from flood situations.
Iowa State University Extension
Emergency Preparedness and Response: Floods
CDC's main website of flood preparedness, response and recovery information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
First Steps to Flood Recovery
Website containing information on various recovery measures following a flood.
Purdue Univeristy Extension
Flood Information
NDSU-Extension flood preparedness and recovery website - contains factsheets, weblinks, podcasts and more.
North Dakota State University Extension Service
Flood Information: Family and Children
Website with links to information for families during and after flood situations.
North Dakota State University Extension Service
Flood Preparedness and Response: Strategies for Families
Factsheet on preparedness measures to take before a flood situation to protect your family.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Flood Warning vs. Watch
Website discussing the differences in flood watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
National Weather Service
Get a Survival Kit
Checklist of supplies needed for a flood emergency.
American Red Cross (ARC)
Hazards and Threats Preparedness Resources
Website with numerous factsheets on topics for recovering from various all-hazard situations.
Louisiana State University Ag Center
Key Facts about Flood Readiness
Basic steps to take to prepare for a flood, including emergency supplies you may need.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
National Flood Insurance Program: Flood Insurance Claims Handbook
Link to a claims guide to help individuals through the process of fling a claim and appealing a claim decision.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Natural Disasters: Flooding
EPA's main webpage of resources on flood related hazards and measures to protect yourself and your family.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Protect Yourself From Chemicals Released During a Natural Disaster
Information on protecting yourself from chemical exposure during flood situations, includes hotline numbers for Poison Control and the EPA.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Protect Yourself from Mold
Factsheet of measures for protecting yourself and your family from mold hazards after a flood.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Ready.gov: Floods
Main website for FEMAs Ready America Program containing flood preparedness tips and resources.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Returning Home Safelty
Website with information on what to do when returning home after a flood.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Salvaging Food After a Flood: Safety Measures in the Kitchen and Garden
Factsheet on food safety issues after a flood situation.
University of Wisconsin Extension
What Should I Do?
Webpage with general information on how to prepare for a flood.
American Red Cross (ARC)