Preparing for a flood 

Know your risk

A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding: Be Prepared

A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or already occurring. Take Action!


Do you know what a floodplain is? Do you know if you live in a floodplain? 

Visit Riley County's Floodplain page for more information on floodplains, flood insurance and permits for building in floodplains. 

Visit the City of Manhattan's flood risk page for more information on flooding and flood risks within city limits. 

Stay informed using Everbridge 

Flash flooding occurs with little to no notice, that is why it is important to be prepared!.


Create a preparedness plan and preparedness kit for you and your family. When thinking about flooding, remember to include: 

  • An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, jumper cables, maps, a first aid kit, etc. 
  • Rubber boots, sturdy shoes and waterproof gloves 
  • Insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and mosquito nets or screens.

Prepare your home for flooding by following these steps:

  • Secure or protect hazards in your home 
  • Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, downed power lines or before your evacuate your home 
  • Plug drains or install backflow valves in drains, toilets, and other sewer connections to prevent waters from entering your home

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Flood Readiness page.


Evacuation may not be required for everyone, but if you are ordered to evacuate your home:

  • Take only essential items with you 
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water, if time allows
  • Disconnect appliances to prevent shock when power is restored 
  • Follow posted evacuation routes
  • Do not drive or walk thru flooded areas, including roads. 

Floodwater Safety 

Floodwater and standing water can be dangerous, and may contain chemicals and diseases or organisms that can make you sick. Never enter flood waters. 

Turn Around Don't Drown

Floodwater poses a drowning risk, and swiftly moving water is dangerous for adults and children. 

  • Always follow warnings about flooded roads - do not cross barriers or barricades closing a road

Turn around dont drown

Floodwater Can Make You Sick 

Exposure to floodwater can lead to:

  • Wound infections 
  • Skin rash
  • Gastrointestinal illness
  • Tetanus

Private wells may become contaminated after a flood event and must be disinfected before use. Learn how to disinfect bored and dug wells, as well as drilled or driven wells by clicking the links below. Before cleaning and disinfecting, follow these precautions: 

  • Turn off all electricity to the well area
  • Inspect the area for hazards, such as downed power lines and debris
  • Do not enter the well pit; clear debris using buckets, hooks, nets and other items. There could be gases and vapors present that may negatively impact your health 
  • Check the electrical wiring or call a professional to do it for you if you are not experienced
  • Wear protective goggles, especially when working with bleach (chlorine)
  • Work in well-ventilated ares
  • Ensure no one drinks or uses the contaminated well water until the well has been disinfected and tested. 

Bored and Dug Well Disinfection (pdf)

Drilled and Driven Well Disinfection (pdf)

If you come into contact with floodwater: 

  • Wash the area with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If you do not have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes. 
  • Take care of wounds, and call your doctor
  • Wash clothes in hot water and detergent before wearing again

Protect Yourself from Animal and Insect Bites

After the flood waters subside, mosquitoes and other insects that can make you sick may be present. Follow these tips to avoid insects and their diseases. 

Learn more about animal bites and rabies

Returning Home 

After returning home after a flood, your house or apartment may be contaminated with mold, or sewage, which can make you sick. Information can be found below on what to do when returning home, including safely cleaning up, generator and electricity use, and other topics. 

Flood Water after a Disaster (pdf)

Throw Away Unsafe Food

Any food that may have come into contact with flood water, storm water, or sewage should be thrown away. Any food that required refrigeration should also be discarded if power was lost for more than 4 hours. 

Food Safety after Flooding (pdf)

When in doubt, throw it out! 

Cleaning up Your Home

Flood Clean up (pdf) 

Mold PPE - English (pdf) 

Mold PPE - Spanish (pdf)

More information: