How to Stay Safe in a Flood

In an unburned landscape, vegetation intercepts and slows precipitation from directly hitting the ground, which allows the water to seep into the ground and reduce the amount of runoff. That same landscape can be drastically altered by wildfire due to changes in the characteristics of the soil and terrain. Wildfires can remove vegetation and leave the ground charred and unable to absorb water, creating the perfect conditions for flash flooding and debris flows. As rainwater moves across charred and barren ground, it can pick up soil and sediment and carry it in a stream of floodwaters, which can lead to more severe damage following a fire.

Before Flood

What to do During a Flood

A Gather emergency supplies and follow local radio or TV updates.

B Unplug appliances to prevent electrical shock when power comes back on.

C Do NOT drive or walk across flooded roads. Cars and people 
can be swept away.

D Tie down or bring outdoor items inside.

E When powerlines are down, 
water is in your home, or before 
you evacuate, TURN OFF gas, power, and water.

After Flood

What to do After a Flood

F Throw away items that cannot be disinfected, like wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall.

G Use fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers for drying.

H Clean walls, hard floors, and other surfaces with soap and water. Use a mixture of 1 cup bleach and 1 gallon water to disinfect.

I Caution! Flood water may 
contain trash.

Recognize Flood Risk

pin point

Identify flood-prone or landslide-prone areas near you.


Know your community's warning signals, evacuation routes, and emergency shelter locations.


Know flood evacuation routes near you.

Practice Safe Hygiene


Wash hands with soap and water to help prevent germs.

water drop

Listen for information from your local officials on how to safely use water to drink, cook, or clean.

rubber glove and boots

For cleanup, wear rubber boots and plastic gloves.

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