Residents can submit data about flooding inside or outside of a structure. This information helps us to understand the level of damage to surrounding infrastructure, such as roads. It also helps us to plan an appropriate response.
Categories of Damage
|Affected||The property has cosmetic damage only|
|Minor||Property is damaged and requires minimal repairs to make habitable|
|Major||Property has significant damage and requires extensive repairs
|Destroyed||Property is a total loss|
|Inaccessible||Damage to the property cannot be visually verified|
Floods are both widespread and very dangerous. They can occur because of short, prolonged periods of rain, tropical storms, and hurricanes, or dam breaches. It is important to take precautions before a flood happens.
Some floods can develop in just a few minutes.
Know Your Risk
What is flooding?
Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including
- Heavy rain or snowmelt
- Coastal storms and storm surges
- Waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or
- Overflow of levees, dams, or wastewater systems
Flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods.
Where does flooding occur?
Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in an area with a history of flooding, or in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee.
When can flooding occur?
Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e. June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and ruing heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.
Flood Watch = "Be Aware." Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
Steps to Take
- Monitor local radar, television, weather radio, preparedness apps, internet, or social media. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
- Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot. Have a family emergency plan ready.
- Build or restock your emergency kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies. Check your emergency kit regularly.
- Sign up for Alert Prince George's to get updates directly to your cell phone or email.
Prepare Your Home
- Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
- Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
- If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.
- Reduce flood risk inside and outside of your home by maintaining gutters and roof, checking periodically for leaks, and landscaping your property to include plenty of drainage away from the home.
Flood Warning = "Take Action!" Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly
Steps to Take
- Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding.
- Evacuate if directed. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters. Turn around. Don't drown®! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
- Road beds may be washed out under floodwaters. Never drive through flooded roadways.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
After a Flood
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
- Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
- Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
- When returning to your home after a hurricane or flood, be aware that floodwater may contain sewage. To learn about protecting yourself and your family when returning to your home, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.