• By Albert Depew

Flood Preparedness

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Be prepared in case of a flood!  We want to ensure that you have the necessary information to help you prepare for the potentiality of a flood in the Carson City area.  Floods can occur in any season, but the greatest threat is posed from rains and the melt off of mountain snow pack which can swell rivers and runoffs to capacity and beyond and wreak havoc.  In January 1997, Carson City experienced major flooding because of these factors.  What to do before, during, and after a flood will put you ahead of the power curve. The Carson City Evacuation Plan is available here

Before the Flood Hits

Prolonged rainfall over several days can cause a river or stream to overflow and flood the surrounding area. A flash flood from a broken dam or levee or after intense rainfall of one inch (or more) per hour often catches people unprepared. Regardless, the rule for being safe is simple: head for the high ground and stay away from the water.  But, before a flood hits, you can prepare yourself by taking the steps:

  • Make an itemized list of personal property including furnishings, clothing, and valuables.
  • Take photographs of your home, inside and out.
  • Place valuable documents in a box or other container for easy relocation. Keep in a safe location least likely to be flooded.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or place of business to high, safe ground in case you need to evacuate in a hurry.
  • Keep a portable radio, spare batteries, emergency cooking equipment, and flashlights in working order and in water-tight plastic bag.
  • Keep first aid and critical medical supplies (Insulin, prescriptions, special need items, etc.) on hand.
  • Have at least a 48 hour supply. Include baby supplies, if needed.
  • Keep a stock of food which requires little cooking and no refrigeration (packaged, dry, canned, etc).
  • Non electric can opener.
  • Change of clothes, shoes and blankets.
  • Keep automobile fueled - if power is out, gas pumps may not be operable.
  • Keep cash on hand - automatic teller machines won't work if power is out.
  • Develop an animal evacuation plan for the safety of your animals or pets.
  • Have emergency pet supplies and food available for your pets; include crates or cages.
  • Develop a plan for relocating your livestock if the need arises.
  • Develop a plan for family members in case of evacuation, etc: where to meet, or who to contact outside of area to let them know they're safe, etc.
  • Ask your agent about flood insurance.
  • Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber, for emergency waterproofing.
  • Sand and Sandbags will become available once an emergency has been declared. Numerous, locations throughout the county will be supplied. Please call your Emergency Services Office for locations.
  • Emergency Shelters: Red Cross shelters will be set up as necessary. Check in point will be announced. See the checklist of recommended items to pack in case of evacuation from your residence.

Flood Evacuation Checklist

If you are ordered to evacuate your neighborhood or Carson City because of flooding, you should consider those items essential to your immediate health and welfare.  Here is a simple list to get you started.  Consider taking the following items with you if you have to evacuate.

  • Water
  • Food
  • Blankets
  • Medication/Prescriptions
  • Baby supplies
  • Clothing
  • Insurance Papers
  • Income Tax Information
  • Other Important Documents:
  • Family Emergency Contact

Flood Warning

When you receive a flood warning, you can ease difficulties by double-checking your preparations.  Here are some thoughts for your consideration.

  • Store drinking water in clean sealable containers - enough for 2 gallons per person /5 days minimum.
  • Move essential items of furniture to upper floors, or stack furniture, if time permits.
  • Safeguard valuables and important papers.
  • Review family plan.
  • Make plans to move livestock and/or pets.
  • Listen to your local emergency broadcast station.

When asked to evacuate...

  • Mandatory Evacuation is ordered when conditions exist that seriously imperil or endanger the lives of those in a designated area. The danger is imminent.
  • Evacuate as quickly as possible, before safe routes are cut off by high water.
  • Before leaving, turn off gas, water and electricity.
  • Take your pets with you. Take your emergency kits: food, clothing, prescriptions, pet supplies, etc.

Other precautions during an evacuation order

  • Avoid flooded areas and do not attempt to walk through floodwaters that are more than knee deep, or drive over a flooded road. Even as much as 6 inches of water can float a car.
  • If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • If caught in the house by rising water, go to a higher floor, or to the roof.
  • Take warm clothing, a flashlight, and portable radio. WAIT for help!
  • Do NOT sightsee in areas blocked off by authorities - you are violating the law when you pass a roadblock - they are for your safety.
  • Use the phone (land lines or cellular) only to report dangerous conditions or emergencies.