Play it Safe in the Sacramento Flood Zone
The entire city of Sacramento sits in a single flood basin, making it one of the riskiest flood zones in the United States. While the history of flooding in Sacramento dates back to the birth of the city itself, over the last 170 years, we’ve made significant improvements to our flood protection system. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. According to Utilities Director Bill Busath, “Sixty percent of our system isn’t ready for a 100-year storm.” He says that even if a 20-year storm hit, we’d have a lot of flooding.
As a Sacramento resident, your home is at risk for catastrophic flooding. Luckily, you can mitigate that risk through preparation and knowledge. Here are some things you can and should do before, during, and after a flood.
- Make sure you have adequate flood insurance coverage. If you don’t know how much flood insurance you need, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency offers resources on their website and free consultations at their office.
- Be prepared to evacuate if necessary. Keep emergency numbers on-hand and prepare an emergency “Go Bag.”
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container.
- Store treasured items such as photo albums on the second floor (or at least a high shelf).
- Evacuate immediately if you are told to do so. Flooding can happen in the blink of an eye.
- Do not drive through flooded areas. Most cars will lose control in only 12 inches of water.
- Do not attempt to cross swiftly running water. A fast current in water only 6 inches deep can knock you off your feet.
- If you’re trapped in a building, go to the highest level and signal for help.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Do not enter a building if it’s still flooded.
- When you re-enter a building that has been flooded, stay alert for animals and other hazards.
- Take photos of the damage for insurance and restoration purposes.
- Throw away any food or water that has come into contact with floodwaters.
- Open windows and doors for ventilation.
- Call a contractor who specializes in water damage to help you reclaim your home.