Flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other weather-related event, causing an average nationwide total of $8 billion per year in damages. Flooding has caused a total of $390,000 in property damage in McDonough county alone, and so below are some of the best ways to protect yourselves, your family, and your property from its effects. 

Preparing for a Flood:

  • Create a plan: How will you and your family stay in touch? Where will you go if you need to evacuate? Do you have a list of contacts in case of an emergency? 
  • Know your risk: McDonough County has experienced 80 flooding occurrences between 1997 – 2020. Four of these occurrences contributed to two separate federally-declared disasters for the county. To further understand the risk for your area, click here and view page 68. 
  • Understand your insurance coverage, does it cover flood damage?
  • Subscribe to alerts: Click “Get Informed” at the top of the mcesda.com webpage and subscribe to be notified of public safety and weather events via text, call, or email. 
  • Storing valuables and sensitive information: Ensure that your important documents and valuable or sentimental items are stored in a safe deposit box to prevent damage or loss. 

During a Flood:

  • Stay Informed: Check in with TV, radio, or internet-based broadcasts to receive updates
  • TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN: If you are in your vehicle and you approach flooded roadways, stop, turn around, and go the other way. 
    • As little as 6 inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle or cause a stall.
    • 12 inches of water will float most vehicles
    • 24 inches of water will carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-ups. 
  • Never try to traverse flood waters: Never walk or swim through flood water. Keep children from playing in flood waters or near culverts. Not only do you not know how fast the water is moving, you also do not know what debris might be within it. 

After a Flood:

  • Pay attention to authorities for instructions and information.
  • Boil drinking water before use.
  • Wear proper protective clothing and equipment during clean up.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas.
  • Be aware of debris, potential spillage of chemicals, and other hazards left behind by the flood. 

Other helpful resources:

NWS AHPS: https://water.weather.gov/ahps/

Flood Safety Awareness: https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

TADD: https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood-turn-around-dont-drown

NWS: https://www.weather.gov

Be a force of nature: https://www.weather.gov/wrn/force