Flood Preparedness and Safety

Car in flood water.

Flooding can happen anywhere;
and flooding is Mecklenburg County’s most common -
and most expensive - natural disaster.



Safety Tips: Before, During & After a FloodSafety Tips: Before, During & After a Flood
Stay Safe: Buy Flood InsuranceStay Safe: Buy Flood Insurance
View the Latest Rainfall & Stream DataView the Latest Rainfall & Stream Data
Watch Flood Safety VideosWatch Flood Safety Videos
Returning Home After a Flood ToolkitReturning Home After a Flood Toolkit
Helpful ResourcesHelpful Resources

Safety Tips: Before, During & After a Flood

Tips to Prepare for Flooding

  • Know the types of flood risk in your area. Remember, flooding can happen anywhere, even outside of a floodplain.
  • Make a plan for your household so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves from flooding.
  • Build a "Go Kit" of the supplies you will need if you have to quickly evacuate your home.
  • Sign up forCharMeck Alerts to receive timely and accurate emergency information, including updates on flooding.

Tips for Staying Safe During Flooding

  • Depending on where you are, go to the safe location that you have identified. If you are not able to shelter in place or with family, go to a public shelter.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Do not walk or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Tips for Staying Safe After Flooding

  • Listen to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe. 
  • Avoid driving except in emergencies.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris.
These safety tips are courtesy of Ready.gov

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Stay Safe: Buy Flood Insurance

Did you know that traditional homeowner and renter insurance policies do not cover flooding? Luckily, the National Flood Insurance Program is available to all (even if you don’t live in a floodplain). Please remember, there is typically a 30-day waiting period after you purchase. Learn more at Floodsmart.gov.

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View the Latest Rainfall and Stream Data

You can locate the latest rainfall and stream level data throughout the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County by visiting the Flood Information Notification System or FINS. This system alerts local fire, police, emergency management and MEDIC to the threat or actual danger of flooding. It is a partnership involving the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the US Geological Survey. Across the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, there are 71 rain gauges that collect rainfall data. Forty-six of these gauges send warnings to emergency responders. Our area also has 52 stream gauges that collect information. Fourteen send warnings to emergency responders when issues arise. 

FINS questions? Contact:

Joshua McSwain

IT Project Manager

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Watch Flood Safety Videos 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services has created a series of videos to communicate important flood safety information. Click the links below to watch the videos on YouTube.

These six 15-second call to action videos help heighten awareness about the danger of flooding. 
15-Second Videos

These two humorous, yet informative 30-second videos feature an overzealous driving instructor named Pam teaching her students the importance of "Turning Around" when approaching floodwaters. 
30-Second Videos

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Returning Home after a Flood Toolkit

Check out these helpful resources to ensure you return home safely after a flood. Documents last updated in Fall 2020.

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Helpful Resources

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John Wendel 

Sr. Communications Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services

Leo Caplanides 

Sr. Public Information Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services

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