Virginia Tech®home

Before a Flood

Flood Before Icon Large

Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice – Make a Plan, Get a Kit, Stay Informed!

  • Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Know safety tips and build an emergency kit. Include drinking water, a first-aid kit, canned food, a radio, flashlight, and blankets.
  • Have a family emergency plan [link to Make a Plan] in place. Plan and practice flood evacuation routes from home, work and school to higher ground.
  • Move important objects and papers to a safe place. Store valuables where they won’t get damaged.
  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, be prepared to evacuate or shelter-in-place.

Prepare your home

  • Insofar as possible, avoid making a home in a flood prone area unless you elevate and reinforce your home. If you must live in an area that is flood prone, elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel. Consider installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into drains. If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
  • Find out how to keep food safe
  • during and after and emergency.
  • Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it may be essential to buy coverage specifically for floods (e.g., in hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and related conditions). For more information on flood insurance, see for example Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program (FEMA).

Prepare your business

Make a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to protect your investment and keep your business running. Identify functions that are critical to your company’s survival and recovery. Determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to maintain or restore those essential functions. Plan what you will do if your place of business is not accessible.

  • Consider if you can run the business from a different location (e.g., from home).
  • Develop relationships with other companies to use their facilities in case a disaster makes your location unusable.

Share the COOP with employees. Learn about remediation and recovery programs, services, and resources at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For more information on floods, see: