Flood Preparedness


Floods are a common hazard in Blaine County, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting an entire river basin. Planning for and being prepared for floods will help you stay safe. This page provides basic safety tips, as well as how to and what to do before, during and after floods.

NEW: The Blaine County GIS staff has prepared a new web “flood story” page with current water and flood information for Blaine County: Impacts of a Record Water Year Story Map

Do you have an Emergency Preparedness Kit? If not, put one together now. If you already have a kit, check and restock it, if needed. Here’s a good basic emergency kit supply list: https://www.ready.gov/kit

Do you have a Personal Emergency Plan? Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about various situations and plan just in case. Here is a link to some great templates to help you create a personal emergency plan: Get A Plan

Basic Flood Safety Tips

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.


Before A Flood


During A Flood

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

Prepare Your Home

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.


Flood Warning = “Take Action!”  Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

Steps to Take

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.


After A Flood

  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
  • Before you return home, review this guide on how to deal with mold: Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters
  • Follow the excellent step-by-step advice from FEMA and the Red Cross on how flooded property owners can clean-up, rebuild, and get help after a flood: Repairing Your Flooded Home
  • Local water damage restoration contractors: Water Damage Restoration Contractors


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