- Due to the varied topography and nearly 90,000 miles of rivers and streams, flooding is Kentucky's most costly natural hazard
- Flooding can occur almost anywhere. The speed and duration of flooding can vary significantly
- 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
- Kentucky experiences-flash floods, stormwater, backwater, and riverine flooding
- Saturated conditions prior to rain events may exacerbate flooding
Read the full Kentucky Flood Preparedness Quick Guide (PDF).
Before a Flood
- Be familiar with your communities' flood damage prevention ordinance so you can work with local officials to rebuild safely
- Clear debris from gutters, downspouts, and drainage systems
- Develop emergency plans and make an emergency kit
- Develop evacuation plans with primary and alternate routes
- Document/photograph belongings, assets, and other important information (deeds, insurance, etc.)
- Prepare with the Five Ps of Evacuation:
- Personal Needs
- Priceless Items
- Read the Kentucky Department of Insurance Before and After the Storm (PDF)
During a Flood
- Evacuate if needed and heed the advice of local and state emergency officials
- Monitor and share flooding impacts to social media (Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag kywx)
- 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 of the road.
- Never drive through flooded roadways - "Turn Around Don't Drown"
- Stay out of any building surrounded by floodwaters
- Stay out of flood waters! Flood waters 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
- 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.
- For safety, considerations protect yourself from electric shock, mold contamination, asbestos, and lead paint.
- Turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or you are standing in water.
- 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 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.
- Contact local officials 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.
- Find out if debris will be picked up curbside or if it must be taken to a designated location.
- Contact the American Red Cross for disaster recovery information.