Sometimes April showers can bring spring flooding. Flooding can occur during any season, but the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flooding is the #1 natural disaster in the United States. While you can’t prevent a flood from happening, FEMA offers some suggestions to help you be prepared.

Be Informed

The National Weather Service (NWS) will issue flood alerts, if necessary. There are many ways to stay informed about potential flooding concerns in your area:

  • Stay tuned to local news media for the latest weather reports.
  • Sign up for your community’s emergency text or email alerts (Nixle in Sauk County).
  • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio to receive broadcast alerts from the NWS.
  • Prepare for a power outage and how you’ll keep informed. Have extra batteries for a radio and a cell phone charger, or even purchase a hand crank option.
  • Sign up to receive text or email messages from the USGS WaterAlert system about streams in your area.

Be Prepared

  • It is important to know the flood risk where you live. To learn more, check out flood maps for your area. If you are at risk, talk with your insurance agent about flood insurance. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood losses.
  • Be proactive and protect your property from flood damage by keeping gutters and drains clear, waterproofing your basement, putting in a sump pump with battery backup, and installing “check valves” in sewer lines to prevent backup in your home.
  • Put together an emergency kit in case you are stranded in your home or need to evacuate. It should include food, water and supplies to last 72 hours.
  • Make a family communication plan so each family member knows where to go in case of flooding or other natural disaster.

For more information about how to prepare for a flood or other natural disasters, go to www.ready.gov or www.fema.gov.