Plan & Prepare
Floods: What to do Before a Flood or Flash Flood
(Much of the information on this page is adapted from information provided by the American Red Cross and FEMA).
As with other types of emergency, you should prepare yourself
and your family by creating an Emergency
Supply Kit and a Family
Disaster Plan. See NJOEM's Basic
Preparedness page for more details.
- Your Kit includes items that will help you stay
self-sufficient for up to three days, if needed.
- Your Plan includes evacuation plans, a place to
reunite with loved ones, and an out-of-state contact person.
Store important documents and irreplaceable personal objects
(such as photographs) where they won't get damaged. If major
flooding is expected, consider putting them in a storage facility.
Know your area's flood risk. If unsure, contact your
Local or County Office
of Emergency Management, local Planning and Zoning Office,
American Red Cross chapter. Everyone lives in a flood
Stay Tuned: Listen to NOAA
Weather Radio or your local radio and television
stations for weather updates, Storm Watches or Warnings,
and emergency instructions from public safety Officials. Remember:
A battery-powered radio is a vital part of your Emergency
Supply Kit. You can also track current weather conditions
available on our Current Weather/Traffic Web page.
If it has been raining hard for several hours, or
steadily raining for several days, be alert to the
possibility of a flood.
Purchasing a flood insurance policy is one of the most important things you can do to protect your home and family.
You can obtain a flood insurance policy through your insurance company or agent. Flood insurance is guaranteed through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by FEMA. Your homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage.
Don't wait until a flood is coming to purchase your policy. It normally takes 30 days after a purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into effect.
For more information about the NFIP and flood insurance visit
contact your insurance company or agent, or call the NFIP
at 1-888-FLOOD29 or TDD# 1-800-427-5593.
FEMA offers a wealth of information on protecting your home,
business and other property with the documents at "FEMA:
How to Protect Your Property"
- Take photos or videos of all your important possessions. If your home is damaged in a flood, these documents will help you file a full flood insurance claim.
- Buy and install sump pumps with back-up power.
- Have a licensed electrician raise
electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers
and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home's projected
- For drains, toilets and other sewer connections, install
valves or plugs to prevent floodwaters from entering.
fuel tanks. An unanchored tank in your basement can
be torn free by flood waters, and the broken supply line
can contaminate your basement. An unanchored tank outside
can be swept downstream, where it can damage other houses.
- If your washer and dryer are in the basement, elevate them on masonry or pressure-treated lumber at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
- Place the furnace and water heater on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.