Before the Flood

  1. Check with the Engineering Department (972-237-8141) on the extent of past flooding in your area. Department staff can tell you about the causes of repetitive flooding, what the city is doing about it, and what would be an appropriate flood protection level. They can also visit your property to discuss flood protection alternatives.
  2. Prepare for flooding by doing the following:
    • Know the flood safety guidance discussed later in this letter.
    • Know how to shut off the electricity and gas to your house when a flood comes.
    • Make a list of emergency numbers and identify a safe place to go.
    • Make a household inventory.
    • Put insurance policies, valuable papers, medicine, etc., in a safe place.
    • Develop a disaster response plan (See the Red Cross’ Web site: for a copy of the brochure "Your Family Disaster Plan").
    • Get a copy of "Repairing Your Flooded Home," which can be found on the Red Cross’ Website, too. 
  3. Consider some permanent flood protection measures.
    • Mark your fuse box to show the circuits to the floodable areas. Turning off the power to these floodable areas can reduce property damage (fires) and save lives.
    • Consider flood protection alternatives such as flood walls or berms.
    • Note that some flood protection measures may require permits. Please check with the Engineering Department and/or the Building Inspections Department for more information.
    • A copy of Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your House from Flooding are available at no charge to download from
  4. Talk to the Engineering Department for information on financial assistance.
    • If you are interested in elevating your building above the flood level, or if you are interested in selling your house to the city, the city can apply for Federal grants to cover 75% or 90% of the cost.
    • Get a flood insurance policy – it will help pay for repairs after a flood and, in some cases, it will help pay the costs of elevating a substantially damaged building.
  5. Get a flood insurance policy.
    • Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. However,
      Some owners have purchased flood insurance because it was required by the bank when they received a mortgage or home improvement loan.
    • Don’t wait until the next flood to buy flood insurance protection. In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period before the National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect.
    • Contact your insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage.
  6. During/After the flood:
    • Ask for a licensed electrician, plumber, etc., to check or turn on your power, water, and/or gas.
    • Do not wade through flood waters due to the danger of pollutants, debris (nails, glass, etc.), and animals (snakes, ants, etc.).
    • Flood waters are often murky and depth is hard to determine. Do not drive through flood waters! Turn around, don't drown!
    • If emergency evacuation is necessary, please heed the warnings of the City Emergency Management and follow the instructions to evacuate - it saves lives of those around you and possibly of the emergency workers responding.