Before a flood

If flooding is forecast

  • During an emergency, it may become necessary to turn off your utilities at your home or business. Post disaster fires can be caused by damaged electrical and gas lines and appliances. Turning off the gas and electricity before a potential disaster helps to prevent damage to the structure and rescue personnel.
  • Know the terms that warn of potential flooding conditions, which will be broadcast on radio and television:
  • Flood forecasts mean rainfall is heavy enough to cause rivers to overflow their banks or melting snow is mixing with rainfall to produce similar effects.
  • Flood warnings or forecasts of impending floods describe the affected river, lake or tidewater, the severity of flooding (minor, moderate or major) and when and where the flooding will begin.
  • Flash flood watches mean heavy rains are occurring or expected to occur that may cause sudden flash flooding in specified areas. Be alert to the possible emergency which will require immediate action.
  • Flash flood warnings are announced when flash flooding is occurring or imminent along certain streams and designated areas. Immediate action to reach a place of safety must be taken by those threatened.
  • Keep a stock of food that requires no cooking or refrigeration. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers. Remember, your electric power, gas and water services may be disrupted. Consult the 72-hour and shopping checklists for recommended emergency supplies.
  • Keep a portable, battery-operated radio, emergency cooking equipment and flashlights in working order; stock extra batteries. Have on hand first aid supplies and any medicines your family may need.
  • Find out if you live in a floodprone area and what the average flood depths in your community are.
  • You may need to store materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber to protect your house from flood waters and to make quick repairs after a severe storm.
  • Contact your insurance agent, community planner or local emergency manager for information. Hampton residents may dial 311 to learn more about Hampton's floodplain information.
  • Identify dams in your area. Be aware of what could happen if they fail. Become familiar with local emergency action plans.
  • Learn your community's flood evacuation routes and where to find shelter. Be prepared for evacuation.
  • Know the elevation of your property in relation to nearby water bodies so that you will know if the flood elevations forecast will affect your home and property.
  • Contact your insurance agent to discuss flood insurance coverage. Flood losses are not covered under normal homeowners' insurance policies. Flood insurance is available in Hampton through the National Flood Insurance Program. Get coverage early - there is a waiting period before it takes place.