Surviving The Storm

Make a Plan

Create a Family Plan

Make a plan. Practice. Practice. Practice.

  • Choose an emergency contact - A friend or family member out of town may be easier to reach in an emergency. Family members will contact this person in an emergency to let them know they are safe.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to contact the emergency contact
  • Know emergency contact numbers - Post them near your home phone & save them in your cell phones
  • Choose multiple meeting places - choose a place that is on high ground but easily accessible for all family members


At Home Emergency Kit

In an emergency, you may not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days. Prepare an emergency kit last will last you at least 3 days. Remember to make the kit make sense for your family!

  • Food - choose foods that are easy to make and will not spoil (Don’t forget the fur family members!)
  • Water - 1 gallon per person per day
  • Manual can opener
  • First-aid supplies
  • Blankets
  • Matches/Lighter - store in a sealed plastic container
  • Flashlight & Batteries
  • Special Need Items - Medical needs, baby needs, pet needs

Print a copy of our Emergency Kit Checklist to help you prepare.

Have infants? Emergency Kit Checklist for Babies

Have pets? Emergency Kit Checklist for Pets

Build A Kit

Grab & Go Bag

If you have to evacuate in a hurry, a grab & go bag will be very helpful. Fill with necessary items such as:

  • Food & Water
  • First-Aid Supplies
  • Personal Care Items
  • Flashlight, Radio, & Batteries
  • Cell Phone charger 
  • Copies of Important Documents (store in a double zipped freezer bag for protection)
  • Extra Cash, map of the area, & extra keys of house & car
  • Unique family needs - baby needs, pet needs

Each family is unique. Pack things that make sense for your family. If you have children, get them involved! They can add one of their favorite games to the kit to keep the family occupied during stressful situations.

For Your Car

An emergency can happen anywhere at anytime. Keep a small emergency kit in your car in case of emergency during your commute.

  • Make sure to have extra gas, a blanket, window breaking hammer, etc. 
  • Check your tire treads and windshield wipers and consider replacement if needed.

Know your risks

Identify Your Flood Risks

Find out if your home or business is in a floodplain with our floodplain viewer.

Take a walk around your lot. Note how stormwater flows through your property. The following could be evidence of potential flooding problems:

  • Part of the house is lower than the surrounding ground such that water cannot flow freely away from the house.
  • A natural wash or man-made drainage channel is on or near your property.
  • A dedicated drainage easement is on or near your property.
  • There is evidence of flow (erosion, debris), pooling or ponding (overgrown vegetation, water-stained walls) or drainage features (grates, drainpipes) on your property.
  • High water marks are present on your house or property.

Stay Informed During the Storm

Keep tuned to local radio, TV stations and weather websites

Follow Flood Control District on X for real-time information.

Sign-up to receive weather updates.

Check rainfall totals near you on our Rainfall Map.

Current weather conditions can also be found on the National Weather Service website.


Flood Insurance

You do not need to live near water to be flooded. Every property in Maricopa County is at some risk of flooding, even those located outside floodplains. 

One in four flood insurance claims nationally are for properties in areas outside the mapped FEMA 100-year floodplains.

Flood damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.

Owners whose property is located in a regulated 100-year floodplain are required to purchase flood insurance if they have a federally-backed mortgage.

If you get flooded, don’t assume federal disaster assistance or other government funds will help you. Federal disaster assistance is available only if the President declares a disaster. Relief funds are a loan that must be paid back with interest.

More information on flood insurance

Dry Floodproofing

A dry floodproofed structure has been made watertight along the level where floodwaters could enter the structure. Applying waterproof membranes or other sealants to the exterior of structures and watertight shields for doors/ windows are an effective protection during a flood.

Wet Floodproofing

Some structures can be made from flood resistant materials and allow water to flow through during a large flood event. Barns or stables may be better suited for this as the lower portion of these structures are usually open.


Emergency Floodproofing

In the event of flooding in areas where you have not had it before or need a quick way to divert flows away from valuable areas such as your home, there are emergency floodproofing techniques that can be deployed quickly to help prevent flooding. These techniques can be initiated on relatively short notice of potential flooding using stored or natural materials.

Sandbags can be used as temporary protection from flooding. When preparing sandbags, remember these tips:

  • Sandbags should be 1/2 to 2/3 full
  • Stack sandbags in a brick pattern 
  • Focus on the entrances areas of the house like front doors and low entrances

How to Use Sandbags to Protect Your Home (VIDEO)

Sandbag Map


Storm Recovery

What steps that you should take if you recently experienced flooding?

Step 1

Call Your Insurance Company

  • Notify your insurer as soon as possible
  • Work with your insurer to determine the extent of your coverage
Step 2

Avoid Additional Risk

  • Check for visible structure damage
  • Contact your utility company if you suspect damage to your utilities
  • Turn off all water and electrical sources; DO NOT attempt to turn off electricity while standing in water. Get professional help!

Take Pictures

  • Fully document the damage before any repairs are made
Step 4

Protect Your Health and Remove The Water

  • Wear protective clothes: boots, gloves, mask etc.
  • Remove all contaminated food
  • Once you receive the ok from your insurer, pump the water
  • Sump pumps are available from most hardware stores for $150-$500
  • Wet vacs average $40-$130
  • Open doors and windows to all fresh air to circulate
step 5

Make Floodproofing a Priority When You Rebuild

  • Consider structural changes to your home
  • Add flood openings at the base of the structure or along walls
  • Elevate appliances like your AC unit or water heater