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Flood season essentials

Planning for flood season involves creating a safety plan for your household, which often includes preparing your home and traveling to safer ground. In addition, you need to stock up on essential supplies.

It’s helpful to shop early for necessary items so you’re as prepared as possible. This flood season checklist, guided by the National Weather Service, can point you in the right direction.

How to prepare for flood season 

According to the National Weather Service, floods may be anticipated as much as several days or weeks in advance. 

However, flash floods may occur with little to no warning. For that reason, it’s recommended to establish a safety plan and assemble an essentials kit prior to the flood season.

Here are three things you should do before a flood impacts your area:

  • Prepare your home
  • Assemble an emergency kit
  • Prepare household members and pets 

Prepare your home

Sandbag wall

A sandbag wall may prevent some water from entering your home. To make one, you need sandbags as well as plastic sheets. You also need soil or sand to fill sandbags.

Waterproofing compound

Painting your walls with waterproofing compound may prevent water from seeping into cracks or porous areas. 

Backup toilet system

A backup toilet system is necessary in the event your septic or sewer system cannot be used. A simple bucket and sanitation liners or bags are a simple alternative. Be sure to seal off the bags with duct tape for disposal.

Backup water supply

After flooding, you won’t be able to drink well or city water until it’s been tested. Backup water supplies, like an advanced water filtration system, bottled water or water purification tablets are invaluable for hydration and safety.

Backup sump pump 

Purchase a manual sump pump in the event your main one is damaged or can’t be used.

Assembling an emergency essentials kit for flood season


Have several days’ worth of food for every member of your household, including pets. 


Stock up on water — you’ll need one gallon per day for every member of your household. Make sure you have extra water for pets. 

Hygiene items

Bring basic hygiene items such as toilet paper, personal wipes, hand sanitizer and feminine care products. Pack insect repellent and sunscreen as well.

Essential tools kit

Assemble an essential tools kit that includes supplies you may need for safety and survival. 

Medical supplies

  • In addition to a first aid kit, pick up over-the-counter medication and treatments. 
  • You may need more than one type of mask, including surgical masks or N95 masks.  
  • If a member of your household uses medication that requires refrigeration, like insulin or some types of birth controls, buy a cooler and cold packs. The cooler may be used to store breast milk as well. 


It’s important to stay connected, which includes making sure you have the right electronics with a way to power them. 

Prepare household members and pets


Put together “go bags” for households members that include warm clothing as well as rain gear and protective outerwear. 

Sleep supplies

Sleep supplies such as emergency blankets, insulated sleeping bags and travel pillows are important for rest and staying warm. 

Baby supplies

Assemble a baby supply kit with food, clothing and sleep supplies.

Pet supplies

Make sure you pack supplies for pets if you’re bringing them with you to safer ground. If you’re boarding pets elsewhere, you may wish to give some of these items to the kennel. 

Waterproof storage

Documentation and medication are difficult to replace. Pack them in waterproof cases and bring them with you to your secondary location. 

  • Wills, insurance policies, marriage and birth certificates, titles, deeds and passports should be stored in waterproof document storage bags
  • Bring up to 90 days’ worth of prescription medication and vitamins with you in a dry storage box
  • Because ATMs and banks may not be accessible, withdraw cash and store it in either of these waterproof containers. 

Toys and games

You may be in your secondary location for an extended period, so bring toys, games and books. Playing cards and travel board games are the easiest to pack.

Learn more about flood season safety and preparation by visiting the National Weather Service and connecting with your local, county and state organizations for public safety.


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


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