What to do before, during and after a flood

Published: Jun. 8, 2015 at 11:01 AM MST|Updated: Jun. 13, 2018 at 4:00 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Flooding is one of the nation's top weather killers.

Every year, more than 100 people die in the U.S. due to flash flooding and more than half of those are vehicle-related.

Knowing what to do before, during, and after a flood can mean the difference between life and death, plus personal financial ruin.

Check out the information below on how to prepare yourself for the worst while hoping for the best.

(Source: National Weather Service)
  • Communications Plan: In the event of a natural disaster, having a communications plan in place helps to eliminate some of the confusion on where friends and family are located. Some ideas are to set up one or two people outside the area to serves as a centralized point of contact or to set a safe spot where family and friends can meet.
  • Assemble An Emergency Kit: Stock up on enough food, water, and medicine to last 3 days. It is also a good idea to have a first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, blankets, rubber boots, work or rubber gloves, and a NOAA weather radio on hand. Go HERE for a complete list.  
  • Know Your Risk: Do you live in a flood plain? What is the best route for evacuation when a flood threatens your home? Find answers to these questions and more at you local flood control district. See the list below for contact information for your area. 
  • Online & Mobile Resources: Download the Tucson News Now Weather App and Tucson News Now News App for the latest alerts to you mobile device.
  • Prepare Your Home: Most standard home insurance polices DO NOT cover flood damage from natural causes. According to just 3 inches of water in a 2,000-square foot home can cause $23,000 in damage. Flood Insurance policies cover this type of damage. Policies starts at $44 per year and go up to $452 for low to moderate flood risk areas. The cost is high for high-risk areas, such as designated FEMA 100-year flood zones. For more information go HERE. Many policies take 30 days to go into effect.
  • Get Read To Evacuate: When danger is looming pack clothing and essentials for family members, plus foods and mediation for pets. Also charge essential electronics such as cell phones, portable radios, and weather radios. Plus, keep back-up batteries on hand.
  • Leave The House: When the threat is high or a flood will happen soon, leave the house for higher ground. Make arrangements to stay at an alternate location until the danger passes. Before leaving the house turn off electricity, gas, and water to the home if possible.
  • Stay Informed: Monitor local radio, weather radio, television, online resources, and social media for information and updates. Make sure the information is coming from credible sources.
  • Get To High Ground: Immediately! The danger has arrived.
  • Obey Evacuation Orders: Attempting to protect material goods is not worth your life. Get your family and yourself to safety.
  • Stay Away From Live Wires: As you know, water and electricity do not mix. If you see sparks, hear a buzzing, or snapping/popping noises, move away from the source and seek dry ground.
  • Avoid Flood Waters: It only takes 6 inches of rushing water to knock you off your feet. And it only takes about 12 inches of water to push small cars off the road. Flood water is also often filled with chemicals, animal waste, human sewage, and more.
  • Avoid Impacted Areas: Polluted flood waters can make you sick. Plus gas leaks and fallen power lines add more danger to the devastation. And you could be in the way of emergency life-saving efforts.
  • Stay Informed: Tune to the local news and radio stations for updates on road conditions, drinking water safety, electric and gas services, and more. You can watch KOLD News 13 from anywhere by going to
  • Wait for the "All Clear": Entering a flood-damaged building is very dangerous. The structure may be compromised, plus electricity or gas may still be on. Wait for the authorities to clear the area for safety.
  • Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let then know you are safe.

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