The most common disaster in Texas is flooding. Most regions of the state are at risk. Flash flooding is also common, especially in areas where the terrain is steep and rocky. Flash floods are floods that happen very quickly. They can be very dangerous. Even in flat areas, flash flooding can occur during a heavy downpour.

Being Prepared for Floods

The first thing you need to do is assess your risks. Do you live in a flood plain or a low-lying area? Are there creeks and streams nearby that fill up fast when it rains? What’s the drainage like in your area?

If your risks are high, get flood insurance. Most homeowners policies do not cover flooding from rising water.

You may be able to reduce your risks by improving drainage. Install drains or dig ditches to help divert water before it has a chance to rise.

In some cases, sandbags can stop floodwaters from entering your home. Get sandbags if you may need them, and be sure to fill them up ahead of time.

As with any disaster, you need to have a disaster supply kit. Keep it handy so you can load it and go in case you must evacuate suddenly.

When the threat of flooding is high, evacuate early. Don’t wait until it’s already flooded. If you have time, shut off the electricity before you go.

The Power of Floodwaters

Don’t underestimate the power of floodwaters. They can move swiftly, often faster than they appear. They are very dangerous.

Never allow children to play near floodwaters.

Adults are also in danger. As little as six inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet.

If you become stranded by floodwaters and must escape, wear a life jacket. In some situations, it may be safer to climb onto a rooftop or into a tree and wait for rescue.

Avoid Flooded Roads

Never drive into flooded roadways. It’s always dangerous. In fact, half of all flood-related deaths are caused when people drive into flooded roadways.

Water can look like it’s only a few inches deep when it’s actually several feet deep. All it takes is one foot of water to make a car or SUV float. And if the floodwaters are moving, your car can be swept away in a matter of seconds.

If you see water on the road – turn around, don’t drown.

Recovering from Floods

Wait for officials to give the all-clear before returning home. When it’s safe to go home, take the following precautions:

Safeguarding Your Health