No one can stop a flood, but there are many things that you can do before a storm to protect your family and keep property damage to a minimum.
While it’s sunny and dry, take the following steps:
- Learn about your risk of flooding
- Make a plan
- Buy flood insurance
- Stay informed
Learn about your risk of flooding
- Do roads on your commute flood? Look for signs that indicate potential flooding. Take note of any bridges. Guardrails might indicate you are passing over a creek.
- Is your home, school or workplace in a floodplain? Check ATXFloodPro. Email or leave a message at 512-974-2843 if you need help interpreting the information. A staff member will call you back.
- If you’re not in a floodplain, is your home, school or workplace subject to “local” flooding? Local flooding occurs when the streets do not have adequate drainage. If your home is located near a creek or drainage channel, at a low point in a roadway or at the bottom of the hill, it may be at an increased risk of flooding.
- Do your favorite greenbelts or trails run alongside a creek or waterway? If so, they may be subject to flooding.
- Learn the difference between an advisory, watch and warning.
Make a plan
- How will you avoid flooded roads? Is there somewhere you can wait out a flood or an alternative route?
- If your home is subject to flooding, will you try to leave or wait out a flood at home? Is there a friend or relative whom you can stay with if a flash flood watch has been issued? If you want to leave, when will you leave? Consider that the roads may already be impassible by the time water starts entering your house.
- Where can you wait out a flood at your house? If you live in a one-story house, escaping on to your roof is better than in the attic. Have the equipment you need to reach your roof.
- Are there elderly, disabled, young children or pets in your family who will need extra assistance?
- Make an emergency kit that you can easily grab and take with you.
- Find out how to turn off utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve. If there’s time, you’ll want to take these actions before leaving.
- Choose a relative or friend as a contact point in case your family is separated.
- Find out more about making a plan.
Buy Flood Insurance
Homeowners, renters and businesses can all buy flood insurance, whether or not they are in a floodplain. Make sure you buy coverage for your contents as well as for the structure. There's more information at FloodSmart.gov.
You should also store important papers, photographs or valuables in watertight containers, placed on a high shelf. In addition, there may be some improvements that you can make to protect your house or business from flooding. For more information, send an email or leave a message on our hotline at 512-974-2843. A staff member will call you back.