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The first thing to do is know where your property stands in relationship to a recognized flooding hazard. Flooding usually occurs from rivers and streams over topping their banks, when sheet flow forms across relatively impermeable surfaces during heavy rains, or when storm surges coupled with high tides bring more water than usual to the coastline. Keep in mind though, flooding can actually occur anywhere, even when you are far away from any of the usual flooding sources. There are all kinds of ways people who live in areas of low flooding risk can find water sneaking into their basements and the first floor of their homes - blocked culverts, dam breaches, levee breaches can all occur quickly and wreak large scale havoc on homes. After identifying the most likely source of flood hazard (but keeping in mind that floods can come from anywhere), purchase flood insurance for your home and valuables. Work on citizen preparedness – make a plan with your family that includes where to meet if cell phones aren’t working. Build an emergency kit and store it somewhere safe in your house. Make copies of all your very important documents and store them in a safe deposit box or somewhere offsite so you will not lose your valuable information. When building new structures – make sure the structures are elevated above the base flood elevation (if possible, make sure structures are elevated multiple feet above the base flood elevation for good measure). Keep all utilities and electrical boxes above the base flood elevation and safe from flooding. Keep a few sandbags on hand. In a mild flooding situation, one or two sandbags can divert a current away from the foundation of your home and absorb access water in the area.