Flood season essentials
Planning for flood season involves creating a safety plan for your household, which often includes preparing your home and traveling to safer ground. In addition, you need to stock up on essential supplies.
It’s helpful to shop early for necessary items so you’re as prepared as possible. This flood season checklist, guided by the National Weather Service, can point you in the right direction.
How to prepare for flood season
According to the National Weather Service, floods may be anticipated as much as several days or weeks in advance.
However, flash floods may occur with little to no warning. For that reason, it’s recommended to establish a safety plan and assemble an essentials kit prior to the flood season.
Here are three things you should do before a flood impacts your area:
- Prepare your home
- Assemble an emergency kit
- Prepare household members and pets
Prepare your home
A sandbag wall may prevent some water from entering your home. To make one, you need sandbags as well as plastic sheets. You also need soil or sand to fill sandbags.
Painting your walls with waterproofing compound may prevent water from seeping into cracks or porous areas.
Backup toilet system
A backup toilet system is necessary in the event your septic or sewer system cannot be used. A simple bucket and sanitation liners or bags are a simple alternative. Be sure to seal off the bags with duct tape for disposal.
Backup water supply
After flooding, you won’t be able to drink well or city water until it’s been tested. Backup water supplies, like an advanced water filtration system, bottled water or water purification tablets are invaluable for hydration and safety.
Backup sump pump
Purchase a manual sump pump in the event your main one is damaged or can’t be used.
Assembling an emergency essentials kit for flood season
Have several days’ worth of food for every member of your household, including pets.
- Shelf-stable foods like canned food, packaged snacks and juice are ideal.
- Protein bars and emergency food supply kits are easy to pack.
- Buy paper plates, utensils, napkins and a manual can opener.
Stock up on water — you’ll need one gallon per day for every member of your household. Make sure you have extra water for pets.
Bring basic hygiene items such as toilet paper, personal wipes, hand sanitizer and feminine care products. Pack insect repellent and sunscreen as well.
Essential tools kit
Assemble an essential tools kit that includes supplies you may need for safety and survival.
- A basic set of hand tools, a multi-tool and a shovel are good to have.
- Stock up on other practical items like duct tape, rope, lighters, matches, flashlights, candles and a fire extinguisher.
- Include safety supplies such as glow sticks, headlamps, a megaphone and whistles.
- In addition to a first aid kit, pick up over-the-counter medication and treatments.
- You may need more than one type of mask, including surgical masks or N95 masks.
- If a member of your household uses medication that requires refrigeration, like insulin or some types of birth controls, buy a cooler and cold packs. The cooler may be used to store breast milk as well.
It’s important to stay connected, which includes making sure you have the right electronics with a way to power them.
- Stay connected with an emergency radio, ideally an NOAA radio.
- It’s possible phone service will be unavailable, so a set of two-way radios can be helpful to communicate with household members.
- Buy power bricks, spare chargers and batteries as needed for electronics.
Prepare household members and pets
Put together “go bags” for households members that include warm clothing as well as rain gear and protective outerwear.
- Pack warm clothing for all household members, including layering pieces like thermal leggings and hooded sweatshirts.
- Pack rain gear including ponchos or waterproof jackets.
- Pack rugged, protective footwear like rain boots and hiking boots.
Sleep supplies such as emergency blankets, insulated sleeping bags and travel pillows are important for rest and staying warm.
Assemble a baby supply kit with food, clothing and sleep supplies.
- Pack several days’ worth of basic baby supplies, including diapers, formula, baby food and baby wipes.
- For households that are breastfeeding, you may wish to bring the pump as well as milk storage bags.
- Bring other baby gear like a portable crib or baby blankets.
Make sure you pack supplies for pets if you’re bringing them with you to safer ground. If you’re boarding pets elsewhere, you may wish to give some of these items to the kennel.
- Include several days’ worth of dry or wet pet food.
- Pack collars, leashes, pet carriers and travel food and water bowls.
Documentation and medication are difficult to replace. Pack them in waterproof cases and bring them with you to your secondary location.
- Wills, insurance policies, marriage and birth certificates, titles, deeds and passports should be stored in waterproof document storage bags.
- Bring up to 90 days’ worth of prescription medication and vitamins with you in a dry storage box.
- Because ATMs and banks may not be accessible, withdraw cash and store it in either of these waterproof containers.
Toys and games
You may be in your secondary location for an extended period, so bring toys, games and books. Playing cards and travel board games are the easiest to pack.
Learn more about flood season safety and preparation by visiting the National Weather Service and connecting with your local, county and state organizations for public safety.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.