To reduce your potential flood damage, you should raise your furnace, water heater and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded. And of course, the best way to protect yourself is to have flood insurance.

Flood Facts

  • Flooding has claimed millions of lives in the last hundred years, more than any other weather phenomenon.
  • Nearly half of all flood deaths result from people attempting to drive their cars through rushing water.
  • Just an inch of water can cause costly damage to your property.
  • The most dangerous floods are flash floods, which are caused by a sudden, intense accumulation of water.
  • Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups.
  • Most flash flood deaths occur when vehicles are swept away by the force of the water.
  • Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.
  • New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
  • Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
  • After a flood, try to avoid any of the water left behind. Flood waters can be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet in the flood. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.