Disaster Do's and Don'ts
Things you can do now to prepare for a flood event
- Educate yourself of the flood risks in your area;
- Find a fast and safe route to high ground from your home, place of work and school. Be aware of which transportation routes may be closed in case of flooding;
- Put together an emergency flood kit which should include: a first aid kit with essential medicines, drinking water, a flashlight, batteries, non-perishable food, a portable radio, a can opener, blankets and warm clothing;
- Be sure to have temporary care lined up for your pets in case of flooding;
- Buy flood insurance; most homeowners’ policies do not cover flood damage;
- Store your valuables and toxic materials in higher areas of your house; and
- Create a list of the contents in your house complete with photographs. This will be useful for flood insurance claims and tax deductions following a flood event.
If time permits
- If there is sufficient time, protect your home with sandbags, plastic sheeting, and plywood. Remember sandbags should not be stacked against the building;
- Turn off all utilities; and
- Stock bathtubs and sinks with fresh water.
Things to do during a flood event
- Pay attention to the local weather forecast and flood warnings;
- Avoid flooded areas; DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WALK, SWIM OR DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED AREA;
- If trapped in your home, move to the upper stories of the house and the roof if necessary. WAIT FOR HELP TO COME TO YOU;
- Stay away from electrical equipment in wet areas; and
- If your car is stuck in a flooded area, abandon your car as fast as possible to seek higher ground.
Things to do following a flood
- Do not use food, water and medicine contaminated by the flood waters;
- Do not use tap water until the community officials advise that it is safe;
- Be aware of hazards caused by structural damage to buildings;
- Turn off all utilities if you have not already done so. Do not use open flames when searching your home after a flood because of possible gas leaks;
- Electrical outlets and wiring need to be checked by a professional before usage. The No. 2 flood killer after drowning is electrocution;
- Dispose of contaminated carpeting and drywall;
- Be careful about drying wooden items in the sun because warping may occur;
- Do not pump out flood water from basements all at once. Pump out about one-third of the water per day;
- Document all flood loss for flood insurance, government assistance, and tax deduction purposes; and
- Pay attention to local news for information on any financial assistance available from FEMA. If access to the internet is available, use FEMAs website for up-to-date information on disaster assistance (www.fema.gov).
If you have questions or would like additional information,
call the County Stormwater hotline at 1(888) 846-0800
or e-mail us at email@example.com
If you see a County storm drainage system in need of maintenance, contact the County Department of Public Works Field Operations staff at (619) 443-1260 weekdays or contact the Stormwater Hotline at 1(888) 846-0800. For after-hours emergencies contact (858) 565-5262.
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
Department of Public Works
5510 Overland Ave., Suite 410, MS O326
San Diego, CA 92123, USA
(858) 495-5318 Fax: (858) 495-5263