DISCOVER: 27 Ways to Prepare for Winter Flooding in the East Bay
- Be aware of your flood risk. Find out if your property is located in a flood zone by visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Flood Map Service Center.
- Develop a flood-preparedness plan. This plan should include evacuation procedures, contact information for emergency services, and a list of important items to bring with you if you need to evacuate.
- Purchase flood insurance. If you are at risk of flooding, it is important to purchase a separate policy because homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood insurance.
- Elevate your home or business. If your property is located in a flood zone, consider elevating it to reduce the risk of flooding.
- Install flood barriers. Flood barriers, such as sandbags and water-filled barriers, can help keep floodwaters out of your home or business.
- Trim trees and shrubs around your property. This will help to reduce the risk of falling branches and debris during a flood.
- Clean gutters and downspouts regularly. This will help to ensure that rainwater flows away from your property and does not contribute to flooding.
- Back up your important documents. Keep copies of your insurance policies, financial records, and other important documents in a safe place, such as a fireproof safe or a cloud-based storage service.
Specific preparedness for winter flooding:
- Monitor weather conditions and flood warnings. Pay attention to weather forecasts and flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
- Prepare for power outages. Keep a flashlight, batteries, and a portable radio on hand in case of a power outage.
- Protect your belongings from water damage. Move furniture and appliances to higher ground and cover them with plastic tarps or blankets.
- Store food and water in a safe place. Stockpile food and water that are enough to last for several days in case of a flood.
- Be prepared to evacuate. If you are ordered to evacuate, leave immediately and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
- Secure outdoor furniture and decorations. Tie down or move outdoor furniture and decorations to prevent them from being blown away in high winds.
- Check your roof for damage. Repair any damage to your roof before the winter season to prevent leaks during a flood.
- Clean out your gutters and downspouts. Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are free of debris so that rainwater can flow away from your property.
- Install a sump pump in your basement. A sump pump can help remove water from your basement if it floods.
- Have a plan for your pets. If you need to evacuate, make sure to have a plan for your pets. Many pet-friendly shelters and hotels are available, but you should book a reservation in advance.
Specific preparedness for the East Bay:
- Be aware of the unique risks posed by winter flooding in the East Bay. The East Bay is particularly vulnerable to winter flooding due to its proximity to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
- Monitor the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s (EBMUD) flood warning system. EBMUD operates a flood warning system that provides alerts to residents and businesses in the East Bay who are at risk of flooding.
- Have a plan for getting to higher ground. If you live in a low-lying area of the East Bay, have a plan for getting to higher ground if you are ordered to evacuate.
- Be prepared for power outages. Power outages are common during winter storms in the East Bay. Make sure to have a plan for staying warm and safe if you lose power.
- Have a plan for your pets. The East Bay has a number of pet-friendly shelters and hotels, but you should book a reservation in advance.
Additional tips for 2024:
- Be aware of the potential for increased flooding in 2024. Due to climate change, the frequency and intensity of winter storms are expected to increase in the coming years.
- Take steps to reduce your flood risk. If you are at risk of flooding, take steps to reduce your risk, such as elevating your home or business or installing flood barriers.
- Have a plan for staying informed. Make sure to have a plan for staying informed about weather conditions and flood warnings. You can do this by monitoring the National Weather Service website or the EBMUD flood warning website.
- Have a plan for evacuating. If you are ordered to evacuate, leave immediately and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
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