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


Know the Flood Risk


Presentations at 2022 KAMM Conference

Prioritizing Flood Risks – Lori Rafferty and Jennifer Caummisar-Kern, Louisville MSD

Flood Inundation Study for Silver Grove, Kentucky Justin Boldt and Cindy Minter, USGS and Campbell County


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


Best Practices in Disclosing Local Flood Risk

September 2022

Disclosing flood risk during real estate transactions is a timely and effective way to raise awareness and drive risk-informed investments.  During the homebuying process, prospective buyers look to a network of trusted sources to help them make decision.

With this insight in mind, FEMA created the Local Flood Risk Disclosure resource. This document offers ideas and examples to help community officials and real estate professionals make flood risk information conveniently available and easy to understand before and during real estate transactions.

The resource has: 

  • A list of local flood risk disclosure best practices that have been implemented in communities across the nation.
  • Spotlights on five communities with different geographies, demographic characteristics and flood hazard concerns.  Each community has implemented best practice public information programs and real estate disclosure practices about flood risks.
  • Additional information on over 80 communities in 21 states with flood risk disclosure and public information practices recognized by the Community Rating System.

To learn more about local best practices and other floodplain management resources, visit



Hurricane and Flood Mitigation Handbook for Public Facilities

April 6, 2022

Hurricane and Flood Mitigation Handbook for Public Facilities – FEMA P-2181, is a new tool released this year that can help state, local, tribal and territorial governments, public facilities, private nonprofits, and others seeking ways to reduce hurricane and flood risk to public infrastructure facilities.

The Handbook presents an introduction and 30 fact sheets that provide technical guidance and recommendations for applying mitigation best practices. The fact sheets have information about improving public facilities and other infrastructure vulnerable to flood and wind damage. This Handbook also has best practices developed from decades of hurricane and flood disaster evaluations.

Topics include Roads, Water Control Facilities, Buildings, Public Utilities and Parks, Recreation. The work of FEMA’s Mitigation Assessment Teams, which analyze damaged structures after a disaster to identify ways to increase resilience, enhances the material presented here.

Link to Hurricane and Flood Mitigation Handbook for Public Facilities


YouTube Videos

The YouTube video series includes eight 2- to 5-minute videos that showcase personal stories from around the country that communicate technical information in a relatable manner.

  • Intro to the NFIP
  • Flood Insurance and Communities
  • Flood Risk Basics and Communities
  • Intro to Risk MAP
  • Providing input as map is developed
  • Collecting data to create flood maps
  • We have a Map. Now what?
  • Mitigation

FEMA’s YouTube channel –



Mitigation Matters!  

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