Protecting Your Property From Flood Damage

Flood protection can involve a variety of changes to your house and property – changes that can vary in complexity and cost. You may be able to make some types of changes yourself. Property protection measures include:

  • Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to higher floors or the attic if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.  Raising this equipment will prevent damage. An undamaged water heater may be your best source of fresh water after a flood
  • Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. As a last resort, when floods threaten, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.
  • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage through cracks.
  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.
  • Move furniture and any other valuables to higher floors.
  • If flooding is expected, consider using sand bags to keep water away from your home. Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.
  • Keep watercourses free of fill/debris. Many people fail to recognize how re-grading their yard, filling a wetland, or discarding leaves or branches in a watercourse can cause a problem to themselves and others.

To learn more about property protection measures, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website and the San Diego County Disaster Preparedness website.


If you have questions or would like additional information, 

call the County Stormwater hotline at 1(888) 846-0800
or e-mail us at

Report a Stormwater Violation On-Line

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. 

Department of Public Works
Flood Control
5510 Overland Ave., Suite 410, MS O326
San Diego,  CA  92123,  USA
(858) 495-5318           Fax: (858) 495-5263