No one should enter a structure until code officials have deemed it safe. Permits will be needed for any repairs. Official damage estimates (by code officials) are needed for FEMA assistance or Flood Insurance Claims.
Kentucky Flood Preparation Guide
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website
Before a Flood
- Develop emergency plans and make an emergency kit.
- Develop evacuation plans with primary and alternate routes.
- Prepare with the Five P's of Evacuation: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, Priceless items.
- Document and photograph belongings, assets, and other important information such as deeds and insurance policies.
- Clear debris from gutters, downspouts, and drainage systems.
- Become familiar with your communities’ flood damage prevention ordinance so you can work with local officials to rebuild safely.
During a Flood
- Evacuate if needed and heed advice of local and state emergency officials.
- Never drive through flooded roadways. Watch the NWS video, “Turn Around Don’t Drown”.
Moving water has tremendous power. Six inches of moving water could knock you off your feet, and a foot of water can sweep a vehicle—even a large SUV—off the road.
- 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.
- Stay out of any building surrounded by floodwaters.
After a Flood
- 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. Check for loose boards and slippery floors.
- Personal safety considerations include protecting yourself from electric shock, mold contamination, asbestos, and lead paint.
- Turn off electricity at main breaker or fuse box.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or you are standing in water. Not familiar your home’s electrical systems? Contact the local power company or a qualified electrician.
- 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.
- Document all damage before doing any work to the structure. Create a list of damage, record model numbers, take pictures or videos, etc.
- Protect your home from further damage by opening doors and windows, covering any exterior damage, removing any mud or debris, draining the basement, and by checking for broken or leaking pipes. Your flood insurance policy may cover some of the cost of protecting your home from further damage.
- Contact your city officials or PDS for guidance on damage assessments and flood insurance claims.
- Ensure authorizations and permits are secured prior to rebuilding. Federal, state and local officials work together to ensure a speedy permit review process.
- Assess and implement mitigation strategies and actions for recovery.
Did you know?
FEMA generally doesn’t reimburse debris removal unless the debris is threatening infrastructure.
Contact NRCS for Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) information.
KYTC bridge inspections may be needed to be eligible for FEMA funding.
FEMA may help stabilize landslides if there is a threat to life, health, safety, or infrastructure.
FEMA may repair landslides permanently; a geotechnical investigation may be required.