Dos and Don’ts of Protecting Yourself From Spring Flooding

Protecting Spring Flooding

Protecting Spring Flooding

Spring is the season of snowmelt, rain, and runoff. With these comes the risk of flooding. Here are some dos and don’ts of protecting yourself from spring flooding.


Know Your Risk

Visit FEMA’s website to find out what flood risks are in your area so that you can prepare accordingly. Remember that storms can cause major flooding, but not all flooding is due to stormy weather.

Spring flooding can occur due to failed sump pumps when the ground absorbs snow melt. Roof leaks appear when the temperature rises and melting ice and snow enter through damaged areas.

Anticipating what could happen and knowing what to do if your apartment or home floods will get you through an incident with less water damage.

Know the Difference Between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning

A flood watch means that flooding is possible; a flood warning indicates that flooding is already occurring or will occur soon. Never ignore watches and especially warnings. A watch should spur you to double-check your preparations, and a warning requires immediate action to move to higher ground. Check FEMA’s “Ready” site for more tips about flood preparation.

Make an Emergency Plan

Have an evacuation route and a meetup point planned in case you need to evacuate or you become separated from family members.

Long before any watch or warning occurs, take pictures of valuable items so that you can easily document your losses if necessary.

If you have time, move furniture and other items to higher ground, and surround your home with sandbags. But never waste time trying to protect property; ensuring you and your family survive should be your priority.

Stay Informed

Sign up for email or text message alerts from your weather service or local emergency services that provide information about floods in your area. This will help you stay informed about potential emergencies.


Never Drive Through Flooded Areas

Remember the flood survival slogan, “Turn around, don’t drown!” Despite a city’s best efforts to control stormwaters on roadways, the water on a flooded road may still be much deeper than it looks.

Don’t Wade Through Floodwaters

The don’t about driving through floodwaters applies to walking or wading through them, as well. Floodwaters can contain hidden debris that may cause injury or even electrical currents that could endanger your life. Floodwaters also can contain contaminants, from raw sewage to toxic materials washed out from industrial plants or warehouses.

Don’t Create Dangerous Fumes Inside

Don’t use generators, camp stoves, or grills inside your home, as they can produce dangerous fumes that are hazardous to your health.

Don’t Risk Electrocution

Never touch anything electrical while standing in water. If there’s water around electrical appliances, turn off the power at the circuit breaker first. Don’t set foot in a flooded basement unless you’re certain that you have successfully shut off your main electrical supply. 


These dos and don’ts for protecting yourself from spring flooding can form the basis for a helpful preparation checklist. Taking these steps can help you stay safe and minimize damage caused by flooding in your home or community.

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