Kentucky Flood Disaster Preparedness Guide

- 02/16/2018

Kentucky Flood Disaster Preparedness Guide
Flood-related Disaster Preparedness Guide
What to do before, during, and after a flood

See below for important highlights of the guide and click here & scroll to the bottom of the page for "Downloads" for the full Flood Disaster Preparedness Guide.

General Overview
• Flooding may occur from excessive rain or snowmelt, from waterways blocked with debris, stormwater overflows, or the failure of a water containment or control systems (levee or dam failure, sewer backups).

• The speed and duration of flooding can vary significantly; Kentucky experiences many types of flooding – flash floods, stormwater, backwater, and riverine flooding.

• Flooding may cause fatalities or injuries, disrupt or destroy infrastructure (roads, bridges, culverts, water, wastewater, gas, electric), disrupt drinking water supplies, and cause erosion and landslides.

• Due to its varied topography and nearly 90,000 miles of rivers and streams, flooding is Kentucky’s most costly natural hazard.

Before a Flood

• Develop emergency plans and make an emergency kit
• Develop evacuation plans with primary and alternate routes
• Protect yourself, your friends, family, loved ones, and community
• Protect your property

During a Flood

• Understand flood and flash flood watches and warnings
• Never drive through flooded roadways – “Turn Around Don’t Drown”
• Monitor severe weather and potential impacts. Moving water has tremendous power. Six inches of moving water has the potential to knock you off your feet, and a foot of water can sweep a vehicle—even a large SUV—off of the road.
• Evacuate if needed and heed advice of local and state emergency officials
• Adhere to the Five Ps of Evacuation: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, Priceless Items
• Stay out of flood waters! Floodwaters can contain rocks, mud, other debris, oil, gasoline, and sewage. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

After a Flood

• Stay out of any building surrounded by floodwaters.
• If your home was flooded, you may only be able to enter when officials say it is safe to do so.
• Use extreme caution when entering flooded buildings. There may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations. Personal safety considerations include protecting yourself from electric shock, mold contamination, asbestos, and lead paint. Turn off electricity at main breaker or fuse box. Check for loose boards and slippery floors.
• Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or you are standing in water. Homeowners who are unfamiliar with electricity or their home’s electrical systems should contact their local power company or a qualified electrician to assist them in making their property safe from electrical hazards after a flood.
• Shut off utilities to a flooded home or building.
• Use flashlights, not lanterns, torches, or matches, to examine buildings. Flammable gases may be inside the structure and open flames may cause a fire or explosion.

Alex VanPelt, Commonwealth of Kentucky Flood Plain Manager, at for questions or more information.