Know Your Flood Risk & Prepare

Know Your Flood Risk & Prepare


Know Your Flood Risk


Did you Know?

  • 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
  • Be familiar with your communities’ flood damage prevention ordinance so you can work with local officials to rebuild safely
  • Read the Kentucky Dept. of Insurance Before and After the Storm


Know the Flood Risk


NWS River Predictions

NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) – select your local NWS office servicing your area (Paducah, Louisville, Jackson, or Wilmington, OH) to see the river predictions for that area.


KDOW Flood Risk Portal

Statewide floodplains in a single map that displays the same floodplain as the FEMA GeoPlatform Map.  Zone A BFEs available for 119 of 120 counties

  • 1% annual chance BFE determinations in the A Flood Zones with a simple click on the stream centerline
  • Hydrologic & Hydraulic reports and models for A zones available for download
  • FIS and Shapefiles available
  • Phase II and Beyond
  • Hydraulic models and BFE determination available statewide
  • Dam safety information

Check your flood risk on the


USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Program

The USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Program strives to help communities understand flood risks and make cost-effective mitigation decisions.  The USGS works with the National Weather Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure the quality and consistency of flood inundation maps nationwide.

Inundation maps can be used for:

  • Preparedness – “What-if” scenarios
  • Timely Response – tied to real-time gage and forecast information
  • Recovery – damage assessment
  • Mitigation and Planning – flood risk analyses
  • Environmental and Ecological Assessments – wetlands identification, hazardous spill cleanup  Mobile Friendly


General Protective Measures Mitigation

General Protective Measures Mitigation reduces or eliminates future losses, but you should also consider other measures to protect your family, your valuables, and your peace of mind.

  • Have a go-kit and make an emergency plan. Instructions and templates are available from Familiarize yourself with local emergency and evacuation plans.
  • Consider purchasing a generator for your home that automatically turns on when the power goes out. If you install one, elevate it above the BFE.
  • Store important documents and sentimental items like photographs above the BFE (preferably on an upper floor). Make copies of your photos and store them in more than one location.


Before A Flood

  • Develop emergency plans and make an emergency kit
  • Develop evacuation plans with primary and alternate routes
  • Prepare with the Five Ps of Evacuation: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, Priceless Items
  • Document/photograph belongings, assets, and other important information (deeds, insurance, etc.)
  • Clear debris from gutters, downspouts, and drainage systems


During A Flood

  • Monitor and share flooding impacts to social media (Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #kywx)
  • Evacuate if needed and heed advice of local and state emergency officials
  • Never drive through flooded roadways – “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 of the road.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • For safety considerations protect 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.
  • 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 info




Mitigation Matters!  

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