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Be prepared, stay safe when flood waters rise

Melting snow and heavy spring rains can lead to flooding concerns in many parts of the country this time of year. Church Mutual offers the following safety tips to help you protect yourself, your people and property when the dangers of flooding arise.

Pre-Flood Preparations

  • Flood Watch vs. Warning: A flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable that could possibly lead to a flood. A watch doesn’t mean a flood is guaranteed, but that you should be aware and prepared. Alternatively, a flood warning is issued when flood conditions are imminent or already taking place. This necessitates taking action.

  • Sign Up for Notifications: Sign up to receive alerts when flood conditions are possible in your area. You can receive these notifications from the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service or often through your local news and weather forecast provider.

  • Emergency Communications Plan: Have a communications plan in place that includes contact persons, safe meeting locations and other important phone numbers to help reduce confusion in the event of a flood.

  • Emergency Kit: Have an emergency kit stocked and ready for a flood. Include items such as basic first aid supplies, blankets, batteries, a NOAA weather radio and enough food and water to last at least three days.

  • Prepare Your Building: If advanced warning of an impending flood is given, you may have time to protect your building with sandbags or other materials designed to prevent water intrusion. Check-valves can also be installed in the building’s plumbing system to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains. Finally, any valuable items should be moved to upper floors or out of the premises to protect them from flood waters.

During a Flood

  • Stay Informed and Obey Evacuation Orders: Listen to a weather radio if available to stay up to date on weather and road conditions. If you’re told to evacuate, do so immediately and seek a safer area.

  • Get to Higher Ground: Once flooding is imminent, leave the property for higher ground if possible. If you’re unable to leave the building, make your way to upper floors or onto the roof if absolutely necessary.

  • Avoid Flood Waters: Avoid walking or driving your vehicle through moving flood waters. It takes a lot less moving water than you might imagine to sweep you off your feet or trap your vehicle.

After a Flood

  • Avoid Flood Waters and Disaster Areas: Continue to avoid moving water and avoid visiting disaster areas as you could get in the way of rescue or cleanup efforts.

  • Avoid Electrocution: If water is still present in the building, do not enter any areas where outlets, cords or electrical wiring are submerged to avoid electrocution. Pay attention to any buzzing, cracking or snapping sounds that may be caused by electrical arcing.

  • Wait for the All-Clear: Do not enter flood damaged areas or buildings until authorities have issued an all-clear and given permission to re-enter.


For additional severe weather safety resources, be sure to visit our Severe Weather Preparedness Page.