Floods and Flooding


Skip Navigation LinksHome > About Gowrie > Severe Storm Center > Flood and Flooding

The risk of flood isn't just for those living near the coast or on a lake. Flooding can take many forms including river floods, coastal floods, urban floods, and flash floods. Unlike hurricanes, floods are a threat in every state. Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States.

Before a flood – Smart preparation counts.

  • Know your flood risk. Know if you are in a floodplain. Know your elevation above base flood elevation. Know if your local streams, rivers, lakes, or coastlines are prone to flooding.

  • Create a family emergency communication plan. Know how you will reach family and friends in the event of a disaster.

  • Create and maintain a disaster supply kit. Have enough food, water and medicine on hand at all times to last you at least 3 days in the case of an emergency.

  • Safeguard your possessions. Create a personal flood/emergency file and keep it in a secure location. It should contain a written/ visual record of all major household items, copies of your insurance policies; and copies of critical personal documents.

  • Prepare your home. Have a professional install check-valves in plumbing to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains of your home. Make sure your sump pump is working and consider having a battery backup. Make sure your electric circuit breakers, or fuses, are clearly marked for each area of your home. If you have sufficient time, consider using sandbags to protect your home, clearing your gutters, and relocating valuables to higher ground.

  • Charge Your Essential Electronics. Make sure your cell phone, computers, tablets, and portable radios are all charged in case you lose power or need to evacuate. Have back-up batteries on hand.

  • Consider Purchasing Flood Insurance. Standard homeowners insurance typically doesn't cover flooding. Flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is sold through insurance agents like Gowrie Group. There is a 30-day waiting period in most cases. Homeowners guide to understanding flood insurance.

During a flood – Avoid flood waters and evacuate immediately when water starts to rise.

  • Stay Informed. Monitor local radio, TV, internet, and social media websites.
  • Get to higher ground. Get out and stay out of areas subject to flooding.
  • Obey Evacuation Orders. If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock your home as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.
  • Practice Electrical Safety. Don't go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises, get out. Stay out of water that may have electricity in it. If it is safe to do so, considering turning off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
  • Avoid Flood waters Do not walk or drive through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV, 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.
After a Flood – Reporting a claim.
  • Reaching Gowrie Group. You will be able to reach Gowrie Group through our normal communication channels immediately following severe storms and floods at 800.262.8911 or info@gowrie.com. Updates will also be posted on our website.
  • Contact Your Insurance Carrier. In the event of a severe storm, the most efficient way to report a claim situation is to contact your insurance carrier directly using their direct claim hotline numbers. Information about filing a flood claim directly with the National Flood Insurance Program can be found on their website.