Flooding – During & After a Storm

Wind & Rain – Preparing for a Storm

During a Storm

  • Ensure water does not come in contact with electric panels, outlets or electric appliances.
  • Unplug appliances if they’re threatened by water. Pay special attention to washers and dryers, which have motors located in the bottom of the appliance.
  • If the water level rises high enough to threaten the electrical panel, turn off power to the building.
  • Clear downspouts of debris or snow that impedes the flow of water from the roof.

Sewage backup in the home

Flooding may cause wastewater to back up into homes. Sewage contains disease-causing microorganisms. Take proper precautions and follow basic hygiene practices in this case.

Check on others

Check on relatives, friends and neighbors, especially those who are elderly or at risk, to ensure they’re safe.


  • Do not drive into standing water. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-ups.

Other flood condition cautions

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  • If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you. Standing water can hide missing sewer covers and can pose a great risk of injury.
  • Keep your tetanus shot up-to-date.
  • Use good hygiene techniques if you come in contact with floodwaters. Wash your hands and take a shower when you are able to do so. Do not drink the water.

Consider Flood Insurance

Homeowner and business insurance policies typically don’t cover flooding. Talk with your agent as there may be a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins. Flood insurance also is available to renters.
     • Visit FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419 for information.
     • Learn more about Arlington’s flood insurance rate maps.
     • Consider these tips for Reducing Your Risk of Flooding.

After a Storm

Food & water

  • Throw out any perishable food in your refrigerator if your power outage lasts more than four hours.
  • Use bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. Learn more on the CDC website.

Cleanup tips

  • Protect yourself with rubber boots and waterproof gloves. Disease-causing microorganisms can enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, and cuts and abrasions.
  • Remove and discard contaminated household goods such as wall coverings, rugs, cloth, and drywall that cannot be disinfected.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water following the cleanup or handling of articles contaminated with sewage.
  • Small children, pregnant women and people with health problems should stay out of affected areas until cleanup is complete.

Emergency generators

Water damage

Major home damage

Mosquito control

With flooding also comes the increased likelihood of mosquitoes. Follow these helpful tips from: