How To Prepare In Case of a Flood

Real Estate Agent with Front Gate Real Estate Broker 11085

Imagine being awakened at 2:00 a.m. by a loud, persistent banging at the door, with the sound of a roaring evacuation vehicle in your driveway. Quick, what would you do? Would you have time to grab important papers, valuable mementos, or family pets?

This happened to me one spring morning last year. I left home with nothing but the clothes on my back and my 35 pound rescue dog in tow.

Fortunately, my house did NOT flood, but it was a scare nonetheless. The reality does not hit until you come face to face with the fact that you are being evacuated from your home and you do not know what will happen next. It is unimaginable to know what to expect until you have lived through a disaster, but many have experienced the aftermath of flood, hurricanes, and fire damage.

In the Event of a Flood

By all means, if you are in a designated flood area, purchase flood insurance. Create a list of valuables, whether you store the list in a safety deposit box or make it accessible online.

Know your evacuation route in case it is necessary. In my case, the flood waters rose over the roads quickly and if the evacuation team had not knocked on my door, I would have had no way out. This is when big trucks come in handy!

In low lying areas, it is smart to have air conditioning units, water heaters, etc., installed on elevated platforms. Install backflow valves for drains, toilets, and sewer connections, and anchor fuel tanks.

From experience, I learned it is wise to have an emergency kit packed and in a designated area of the home that can be grabbed at a moments notice. Flashlights, batteries, granola bars, bottled water, dry socks and rain slicks are necessities at times like this. My rescuers were kind enough to let me scurry through the house gathering essentials (and getting dressed), but that is not always practical. As it was, I was damp and cold  until I arrived at my destination.

Be sure to have a fully charged cell phone and a spare charger tucked into your emergency kit. If bad weather is predicted, charge that phone!

Be EXTREMELY careful if driving on flooded roads, as it is easy to be swept away by flood waters or washed out roads. Listen carefully to local weather reports and act accordingly.

We hope the unthinkable never happens, but if it does, we can try to prepare for the worst.

If you have other suggestions on how to plan in advance for a flood, please share them below.


Graphic compliments of Mississippi Association of Realtors and used with permission.

Comments (12)

Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

It is important for all of us to understand what natural disasters our homes are prone to, and to adequately prepare for them.

Jun 04, 2018 03:09 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Pat... what a terrific post... floods are so scary and dangerous. Love the infographic.

Jun 04, 2018 03:10 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm a build a house on a hill kind of person.  I'm well out the flood plain.  My sweet sister in law lost nearly everything a few years ago in Minot, ND to a flood. her attic was all that stayed above the water. 

Jun 04, 2018 07:52 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Thank God we don't live in an area that floods...very often.

Jun 04, 2018 10:35 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Regardless of where we live, Myrl Jeffcoat, there could be risks involved, so residents should make themselves aware of precautions. Thanks.

Nina Hollander - our state association released the graphic for sharing, and this post immediately came to mind.

Jun 05, 2018 06:49 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Tammy Lankford, - I understand why you feel that way! High and dry is preferable to being in a flood prone area, but when my house came up for sale on the water and golf course, I took the risk and purchased flood insurance. 

Jun 05, 2018 06:52 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900 - do you have to be concerned with earthquakes?

Jun 05, 2018 06:53 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

There are a lot of things on your list I would not have considered, like anchoring fuel tanks.  Great information for anyone in a flood prone area.

Jun 05, 2018 09:20 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Thank you, Chris Ann Cleland. Some of these recommendations are pertinent regardless of disaster, as everyone could use an emergency kit, and I always advice readers to bring plants and small yard objects indoors to prevent them from flying away or causing damage to property. Especially so during hurricane season. 

Jun 05, 2018 01:23 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Pat good job.  I really like how you laid it out in the infographic.

Jun 05, 2018 05:15 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS - Excellent information! 

Yes! I have left home with a spring coat wearing a pretty dress and high heel shoes in January in Northern, IL and by 4 p.m. received a call that my house was on fire., By then, a cold front came in and the blizzard was just horrible. I struggled to get to the house before it all went up in smoke but roads were treacherous. All I had was the clothes on my back so this is validation what you say is true. I've also lived through floods that just happened so fast and tornadoes too.

May you be featured! 


Jun 08, 2018 08:49 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Great information and advice. Luckily for me, I'm not in a flood area and this is not a threat.

My heart goes out to anyone who finds themselves in the situation you (and Patricia Feager) describe. How terrifying!

Jun 09, 2018 10:12 AM