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Flood Protection

The District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency (DCEMA) urges District residents and businesses to take precautions during any period of heavy rain, especially by removing debris from catch basins and storm drains.

Before an Emergency

  • Have flashlights and extra batteries in case of power loss.
  • Keep a portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries to keep informed of breaking news.
  • Maintain a first-aid kit and manual.
  • Stock up on emergency food and water; have a manual can opener.
  • Ensure you have adequate supplies of essential medicines.
  • Fill up your car with fuel, and ensure windshield wipers and headlights are operating properly.
  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools; anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
  • Make sure you have adequate cash and credit cards on hand.

During a Hurricane/Flood Watch

If you are at home:

  • Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and pots and pans.
  • Keep a supply of flashlights handy; avoid open flames, such as candles or kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
  • If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power "surge" when electricity is restored; keep one light on to alert you when the power comes back.

If you are outside:

  • Attempt to seek shelter as soon as possible.
  • Drive with extreme caution; use your headlights at all times.
  • Avoid flooded roads and watch out for washed-out bridges.

After an Emergency

  • Avoid loose or dangling power lines; report them immediately to the police by calling 911 and to the Potomac Electric Power Co. (PEPCO) at (202) 872-3432.
  • Take photographs of the damage—to your home, its contents, or your vehicle—for insurance claims.

More Information

McgruffFor more information on preparing for serious storms and flooding, contact: