Storm and Flooding Preparedness | General Flood Information

Weathering the StormFlooding is a national problem and causes more than $2 billion in property damages each year, and losses due to flooding are not covered under most homeowner or business policies. Are you at risk? There is a 26% chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year mortgage – compared to a 4% chance of fire. Most communities in the United States can experience some kind of flooding.

Find out if you are located in a floodplain or special flood hazard area. Are you protected? Consider purchasing flood insurance – available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Generally, there is a 30-day waiting period for this policy to become effective, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

A flood insurance policy may also reimburse you for the actions you take to prevent flood damage. For more information about the NFIP, contact your insurance company or call the NFIP at (800) 720-1090, TDD# 1-800-427-5593.

In addition to information shown here, always check “Ready Ventura County“, the website of Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) in the event of any emergency. The OES maintains the site in partnership with a number of County agencies and departments to provide critical information as emergencies occur. The OES website is a great way to learn disaster preparedness and to find contact information for the participating agencies and departments.

The main electric panel board (electric fuses or circuit breakers) should be at least 12″ above the projected flood elevation for your home. Panel board height is regulated by code. Consider elevating all electric outlets, switches, light sockets, baseboard heaters and wiring at least 12″ above the projected flood elevation for your home. You may also want to elevate electric service lines and connect all receptacles in areas that could get wet to a ground fault interrupter (GFI) circuit. Elevate the washer and dryer on masonry or pressure-treated lumber at least 12″ above the projected flood elevation. The furnace and water heater can be placed on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12″ above the projected flood elevation. Know your property: identify changes in slope and grade that influence where water and debris flow and collect. Know the overland escape routes for water/debris and plan diversions accordingly. Consider low spots and high flow areas when planning for structure and property protection. Consider escape routes for water and be sure that your efforts to protect your own property do not result in diverting water to a neighbor’s property where it could cause damage there. Property Flood Proofing; Drainage Improvements: There are two types of drainage to consider; surface and sub-surface. Surface drainage refers to channels, ditches, culverts, walls and other conveyance or diversion methods that move surface water or debris off your property. Subsurface drainage includes pipes, French drains and sumps which move water under the surface of land. Sub-surface drainage can be more difficult and expensive to construct, but can also result in lower property damage due to surface flooding and soil erosion, or flooded structures. Carefully evaluate which type of drainage is needed for your property. When designing a drainage system, especially if you are located in a flood prone area, consider consulting a professional such as a civil or geotechnical engineer or a landscape architect.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies do NOT offer protection against flood losses. For information about flood insurance, call your local insurance agent, or call the National Flood Insurance Program at (888) Call-Flood.

For more information about winter weather preparedness, please download the Be Winter Wise! (PDF, 230 KB) brochure.

Winter storms in California can be deadly, causing flooding, flash floods, high coastal surf, mudslides, snowstorms and avalanches. Your city, county, and state Offices of Emergency Services have prepared these brief safety tips to help you prepare for a safe winter.

Wherever you live or travel, you should be aware of the dangers of winter storms and be prepared to cope with one. For more information on the history of flooding in your area, and how you and your family can prepare for winter, call your city or county Office of Emergency Services (in the Government section of the telephone book), or the nearest office of the National Weather Service.