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Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood



Featured Image | residents-walk-high-waters-after-devastating | flood survival tips

Remember that where there is rain, there may be a flood. Preparing for a flood is still the best way to ensure survival.

With preparedness and these flood survival tips, you can both survive and recover. Here’s how!

RELATED: Why Disaster Preparedness is Important: Take Action Now

Critical Flood Survival Tips You Should Know!

Click here to jump to the infographic.

flood-protection-sandbags-flooded-homes-background flood survival tips

Before Flood Survival Tips

1. Build an Emergency Kit

Check out this emergency survival kit list: Survival Life’s Comprehensive Checklist For A 72 Hour Survival Kit.

prepare-advance-natural-disaster-by-putting Flood Survival Tips

2. Make a Family Communications Plan

mother-explaining-her-family-assembly-point Tips

Communication is essential to flood survival for you and members of your family.

3. Avoid Property Construction in a Floodplain

beautiful-private-house-under-construction-unfinished Survival

Try to build on higher ground to avoid being hit by floods.

4. Put Up Barriers

sandbags-stacked-front-house-york-flooded Survival Tips

Build floodwalls, levees, or beams to prevent floodwater from rushing to your home, fast.

5. Seal Your Basement

Waterproof your basement and protect it from seepage by sealing the walls, cracks, and crevices.

waterproofing-bathroom-floor-proper-placement-sealing Survival Tips

There is a greater chance of protecting your


and yourself with a sealed


6. Look for Warnings

supercell-storm-clouds-hail-intence-winds Flood Tips

Monitor a central weather station or local news for flood warnings or updates.

7. Check Gutters, Downspouts, and Drains

man-on-top-ladder-cleaning-dirt Survival Tips

Clogged drains and gutters can destroy your roof and let water in your home faster than you can save everything in it. Regularly clean your roof of debris.

8. Clear the Floor

young-man-moving-furniture-home Flood

Move electronics and furniture off the floor and transfer them to higher and secure places.

9. Roll Up Your Rugs

repair-building-home-concept-close-male Flood Survival

Wet rugs are bad news for your wallet and your health. Roll them up and secure them well so they don’t get wet, moldy, or totally destroyed.

10. Secure Important Documents

Secure your important documents in sealed or waterproof bags.

emergency-backpack-equipment-organized-on-table Flood Survival

Trying to reapply for these documents again after a calamity can be a hassle, and having these documents handy will help you when you need assistance.

11. Inspect Sump Pumps and Drains to Ensure Proper Operation

man-angry-red-face-bent-over Flood Tips

Flood survival requires many steps, like inspecting the sump pump in your basement. Get your sump pump fresh batteries.

12. Turn Off the Power

electrical-panel-fuses-home-white Tips

One way to achieve flood survival is by turning off the power supply to your home. Turn off the main breaker of your electrical system.

13. Move Your Appliances

man-moving-old-large-strapped-refrigerator Flood

Elevate all your electrical appliances.

RELATED: 20 Global Catastrophes To Prepare For NOW

During Flood Survival Tips

14. Find Higher Ground

Getting to higher ground is instinctive when there is a flood, but you also have to be smart about it.

young-man-teenage-boy-standing-on flood survival

Make sure the structure is secure and stable. If you’re going up hills or mountains, watch out for landslides and flash floods.

15. Avoid Streams and Roads

man-child-crosses-river-father-carries flood survival tips

Attempting to cross rushing waters or driving through flooded roads is extremely dangerous. Avoid doing so at all cost.

16. Go to the Roof

kid-home-by-roof-window survival

Go to the highest part of your home or the roof as soon as the water starts to rise too fast.

17. Listen for Updates

Keep a battery-operated radio in your preparedness stash. Getting fresh information about the disaster you are in is vital to your survival.

woman-hand-adjusting-sound-volume-on flood survival

Any new development will also help you calculate or plan your next move.

18. Keep Utilities Powered Off

man-working-pipes-turning-on-off flood survival tips

Whether it’s electricity, gas, or water, try turning them all off before the water starts coming in.

19. Stay Clean

Floodwaters are almost always filled with contaminants and water-borne diseases.

garbage-dirty-water-rubbish-scattered-all flood survival tips

Whether you have open cuts and wounds or not, stay clean to prevent infection.

20. Know Your Surroundings

It pays to check the landscape and history of your area for floods and other natural disasters.

entry-house-during-flood-completely-flooded flood survival

Rivers, dams, streams, and canyons are high-risk areas for floods.

21. Watch for Evacuation Orders

evacuation-road-sign-arrow-on-blue flood survival

This is related to the previous flood survival tip. Knowing your area will help you plan your route to an evacuation area.

22. Don’t Drive Around Barricades

cars-driving-on-flooded-road-during flood survival

Flood survival is easy if you are extra careful.

23. Don’t Risk It

flooded-street flood survival

Stay away from a flooded road or turn around, whether you are walking or driving.

24. Evacuate Your Vehicle

If your car gets caught in flood water get out of it as quickly as you safely can and get to higher ground.

brisbane-australia-jan-13-flood-auchenflower flood

Flood Safety Tips During an Evacuation

  • If asked to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Make sure every person in your family has the same contact person (friend or family member) in case you should become separated during the evacuation.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio for evacuation instructions.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes.
  • Leave early to avoid being trapped by flooded roadways.

After the Flood Survival Tips

25. Check the News

close-businessperson-checking-online-news-on flood survival tips

Listen to news updates for warning of water contamination and safety precautions against the spread of disease or social unrest.

26. Avoid Floodwaters

young-boy-blue-shorts-wet-socks flood survival tips

Floodwaters may have not yet receded in some areas so steer clear of these areas as they may be deep, muddy, or contaminated.

27. Keep Off of Flooded Roads

Waters may have receded in some roads but it might not be safe to drive in yet.

front-wheel-pickup-car-passing-urban flood survival tips

The road may have softened and could give in while you drive through it.

28. Enter Buildings with Caution

side-view-woman-entering-modern-apartment flood survival tips

Take great caution when inspecting homes and buildings as there may be dangers lurking by.

29. Keep Your Home Clean

As we’ve stated, floodwater may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals.

cropped-image-beautiful-young-woman-protective flood survival

Make sure to not only clean but disinfect your property or your things before you come into contact with them.

30. Avoid Electrical Wires

Keep away from electrical wires and knocked power lines — electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods.

electrician-linemen-repair-power-grid-high flood survival tips

It is also best to report the situation to authorities.

31. Check for Animals

Both dead and alive snakes and other dangerous animals may have been swept by the flood.

snake-backyard-yard flood

Exercise precaution when clearing up debris on your property.

32. Be Alert for Gas Leaks

Keeping flashlights handy is very important.

gas-valve-kitchen flood tips

Avoid using matches or candles to inspect your place and use flashlights instead to avoid the risk of igniting a gas-contaminated area.

33. Report Damaged Sewage Systems

Whether in a flood or not, a broken-down sewage system poses serious health threats — more so after a flood.

leakage-steam-blowndown-boiler flood survival tips

Make sure to report the damaged sewage system to authorities.

34. Disinfect Everything

Flood survival is also about getting up and moving on. Floodwater can be contaminated and affect everything it came in contact with.

disinfectant-sprayers-germs-that-adhere-on flood survival tip

Clean up and disinfect everything you can still save before you use them.

Here’s an infographic guide. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
SL - Flood Survival Tips

This video from Cars.com will show us some flood safety tips, especially how to survive a flood in a car:

There is no need to be reminded of the devastation caused by floods since they happen every year in our country.

Getting ready and armed with the proper flood survival know-how can mean the difference between survival and demise in this kind of natural disaster (or any other, for that matter).

Knowing flood survival tips and safety rules can lessen the impact of this natural disaster on you and your family. Whether a flood is coming, happening, or has passed, take heed of these flood safety tips to help you get through the ordeal.

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What would you do yourself to prepare for a flood or survive one? Share your flood survival tips with us in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 3, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  4. a_browning

    May 27, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    Hmm, build your home on high ground whenever possible. While I don’t live on top of a hill (wish I did), I am located more than half way up a good hill. I’ve been here to see record rainfall in a day and record for a season (aka saturated ground for over a month so far, 13 inches above normal) and there is no flooding here. I wouldn’t live most places in Houston if you paid me. 11 inches of rain in a few hours on mostly low ground is asking for trouble.

  5. larry martin

    May 27, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    My brother owned a house in N Texas next to a small creek. For years it was OK, even during storms. However, after development upstream paved over the green fields and earth that soaked up rain, the drainage increase substantially. The next storm was a rampaging river and came into every house on the creek. Bad news.

    • Anonymous

      December 4, 2017 at 3:07 PM

      is your brother dead

      • Anonymous

        December 4, 2017 at 3:09 PM

        I said that

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