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Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters. Floods threaten lives and destroy homes and natural resources. You can take action now to help save lives and help prevent or reduce damage caused by floods.

  1. What to Do Before a Flood
  2. When a Flood Threatens
  3. After the Flood
  4. Recovery

Make a Family Plan

  • Talk to all family members, including the little ones. You and your family might not be together during a disaster. Collect contact information of everyone in the family and make sure everyone knows where and how to reconnect after Flood. Visit the Ready.gov pages to learn how to make a plan [external link].
  • Family members should have an out-of-area contact they can call to let them know they are safe when they are separated. Prepare wallet cards with the contact’s information [PDF].
  • If you have special physical or medical needs, be sure to have an extra supply of medication and supplies to take with you if you evacuate. Children, elderly, people that are immuno-compromised and patients that have lung diseases must be especially careful around flood waters. Discuss your emergency plans with your medical provider.

Develop an Evacuation Plan

If you need to evacuate your house, determine a process for evacuating quickly. Practice the plan at least two times each year. Things to consider when developing your evacuation plan:

  • What are the items from your house you would need to collect during a flood pre-evacuation or evacuation?
  • Store copies of your vital records and lists, photos or videos of valuable items in a safety deposit box. Include updated insurance policies.
  • What is your emergency plan for your pets and livestock?
  • Designate a “safety zone.” What are the different routes out of the neighborhood to get to the “safety zone?” What if the planned evacuation routes are blocked by flood waters?
  • Make sure everyone knows where everything is located and who would be responsible for getting what. Then — practice!

Sign up for Emergency Notifications

  • LookoutAlert is the official emergency notification system of the regional collaborative of Jefferson County and all cities within it, the City and County of Broomfield and the City of Westminster. Through LookoutAlert, emergency responders are able to provide emergency and public safety messages to residents. .
  • Smart911 [external link] is a free service with which users create a safety profile by entering vital data they want made available about themselves, their family, their residence and even their pets. Data given can include photos, and information regarding medical conditions, allergies, disabilities and/or special needs, home addresses of cell phone callers and floor plans to name a few. Smart911 [external link] delivers this information automatically to dispatchers, who then enable responders to be more successful with access to critical health and logistical information before arriving at the scene of an emergency.

Know your Neighbors

Your neighbors can be your best support system. Talk to your neighbors about flood mitigation and how you can help neighbors who may need assistance, such as the elderly, people with infants or those with special health care needs. Talk with them about how you can work together — who might need help evacuating? Does anyone have health issues to consider?

Evaluate your House

Begin your evaluation at your driveway and clearly mark all driveways with names/addresses.

  • Find out if your roof is hail- and high-wind- resistant. Are windows and doors built to withstand the weather and debris? And, just like we make sure our pipes can withstand cold Colorado winters, make sure your drains can withstand rainy springs and summers. Check your drains every spring to make sure they aren’t blocked and are flowing away from the home.
  • Know how to shut off utilities, including water and electrical. Develop a pictograph card, laminate and post it near the shut of valves.
  • Purchase flood insurance.
  • Prepare your home for a flood. Call your local building department or office of emergency management for information.
  • Keep all insurance policies and a list of valuable items in a safe place.
  • Take photos or a videotape of the valuables you keep in your home.

Make Emergency Go-bags

Put together a 72-hour emergency “go-bag” supply kit.

  • Include water, food and protective clothing, including sturdy shoes, cotton or wool clothing, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, gloves, a handkerchief, medications, phone chargers and travel toiletries.
  • Store in easy-to-carry packs.
  • Have children help put together go-bags (these may include some toys or a stuffed animal).
  • Other suggestions on what to include in your kit can be found at Ready Gov Website [external link]. Be sure to include copies of personal documents and contact lists, necessary medications and extra cash. We know it can get expensive, so focus on the necessities first.
  • Keep your car filled with gas.

Mitigate your Property

Clean up garbage, pine needles, fallen branches and old leaves from the ground that can get caught in your drainage systems and cause backups. If your house is in a flood plain, you may qualify for a Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program [external link] to restructure your property, such as retention ponds, elevate your home, etc.