Flood Safety

Prepare Ahead

We may not be able to control weather conditions, but with only a little bit of planning, we can take all possible precautions to ensure our personal safety and protect our homes from severe damage.

Stay Connected

Staying connected to important information can help you, your family, and your business survive the storm.

Turn Around Don’t Drown

Flooding can be dangerous. Even though it appears to be moving slowly, a flood 6′ deep moving at 3 ft./second can knock people off their feet. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters. . The message is clear: do not attempt to walk or drive in flood conditions.

Be Alert For Gas Leaks

Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated. Before evacuating, make sure the gas has been turned off.

What to do Before, During, and After an impending storm


Before a storm, there are severe weather watches and warnings. A watch lets you know that weather conditions are expected. It literally means “be on guard!” A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent – it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) – or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action.

  • Tune in to your local news (cable TV, Internet, radio, etc) in order to receive updated information.
  • Stay connected –to receive emergency alerts.
  • Take photos or video of your home’s interior and your personal property.
  • Get your Pinellas County Sheriff’s Emergency Re-entry Pass now at town hall to ensure that you can return to your home after an evacuation.
  • Fill up your automobile gas tank and make sure your prescriptions are filled.
  • Make plans now to relocate or store boats and other watercraft.
  • Trim your trees and remove any yard debris to help keep storm drains clear during severe weather event.
  • You are in an evacuation Zone A. Look up shelter locations
  • GET A PLAN! Make sure that you have an emergency plan for you, your loved ones, and your pets.
  • Download the Official All-hazard Guide for Pinellas County, Surviving the Storm.
  • If you have a pet, visit pinellascounty.org/animalservices/ or call (727) 582-2150 to register for a Pet-Friendly Public Shelter.
  • Residents of all ages with special needs, those without transportation and the elderly should register. If you are registered and need transportation to a shelter, your local fire department will contact you before an evacuation.
  • Follow your evacuation orders.
  • Tune in to your local news (cable TV, Internet, radio, etc) in order to receive updated information.
  • Stay connected – Sign up to receive emergency alerts at http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/stayconnected.htm
  • Pack your emergency “Go Bag
  • Secure your outdoor property (lawn furniture, grills, trash cans, etc) or bring it inside.
  • Get your sandbags.
  • Clear any debris from storm drains in your neighborhood.
  • You are in an evacuation Zone A. Follow evacuation instructions.
  • Let friends and family know your evacuation plans.
  • You are in an evacuation Zone A. If you have a pet, prepare travel package that includes pet food and pet medications.
  • Stay tuned to local news for updates on flooded areas, road closures, and re-entry points.
  • File your flood insurance claim now. 
  • Follow re-entry orders and avoid flooded areas.
  • Use caution when returning home.
  • If your home or business has flooded, remove wet contents immediately to prevent mold. Wet carpeting, furniture, bedding and other items holding moisture can develop mold within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Photograph and list all damaged or lost items including their age and value where possible. Take photos of water in the house. Adjusters need evidence of the damage to prepare your estimate.
  • Build back stronger and safer.
  • Get building permits from City Hall.
  • Look out for price gouging. It is illegal for anyone to sell necessary goods or services at higher than normal prices during a state of emergency. Visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/consumer/price_gouging.htm for more information.
  • Keep pets out of flooded areas and standing water.