County of Marin Health and Human Services

Flood Safety

Visit the Public Emergency Portal of Marin County to stay up-to-date during flooding events.

Stay connected. Stay informed by signing up for emergency alerts including warnings and evacuation notices. Check in with loved ones and neighbors.

Travel safely. Avoid non-essential travel.  Turn Around Don't Drown®.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters.

Be ready for power outages. Take inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Keep your devices charged. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources. Have flashlights for every household member. Prepare for water outages

Resources for Health Care Providers

CDPH. HEALTH & SAFETY CONCERNS AFTER A FLOOD: Information for Medical Providers

CDPH. HEALTH CONCERNS AFTER A FLOOD: Checklist for Patients, Caregivers and Providers

CDPH. HEALTH CONCERNS AFTER A FLOOD: Mental Health Information for Patients, Caregivers and Provide

During a Flood Watch or Warning

  • Plan & Prepare. Gather emergency supplies, including non-perishable food and water. Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet. Store at least a 3-day supply.
  • Listen to your local radio or television station for updates.
  • Have vaccination records handy (or know the year of your last tetanus shot).
  • Bring in outdoor items (lawn furniture, grills, trash cans) or tie them down securely.
  • If it looks like you will need to evacuate, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
  • Leave areas subject to flooding such as low spots, canyons, washes, etc.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from the risks brought by floodwater 

  • Don’t drive in or through flooded areas or standing water. Cars or other vehicles won’t protect you from floodwaters. 
  • Stay out of floodwaters.
  • If you come in contact with floodwater:
    • Prevent infection of open wounds and rashes. Wash the area with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If you don’t have soap or water, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer. Take care of wounds and seek medical attention if necessary. Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent before reusing them.
  • If you must enter floodwater, wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles.
  • Protect yourself and your loved ones from diarrheal diseases.
    • Do not drink flood water, or use it to wash dishes, brush teeth, or wash or prepare food. Drink clean, safe water.
    • Wash your hands after contact with floodwater. Also be sure to wash children’s hands with soap and water often and always before meals.
    • Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas. Do not allow children to play with toys that have been contaminated by floodwater and have not been disinfected.
    • Do not bathe in water that may be contaminated with sewage or toxic chemicals. This includes rivers, streams, or lakes that are contaminated by floodwater.
  • Listen for boil water advisories. During a water advisory, use only bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, etc.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Use generators at least 20 feet from any doors, windows, or vents. 

Reentering Your Flooded Home

  • If you have standing water in your home and can turn off the main power from a dry location, then go ahead and turn off the power, even if it delays cleaning. If you must enter standing water to access the main power switch, then call an electrician to turn it off. Never turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.
  • If your home was flooded, practice safe cleaning. Remove and throw out drywall and insulation that was contaminated with floodwater or sewage. Throw out items that cannot be washed and cleaned with a bleach solution, such as mattresses, pillows, carpeting, carpet padding, and stuffed toys. You may want to temporarily store items outside of the home until insurance claims can be filed. See recommendations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water and disinfect with a solution of one cup of bleach to five gallons of water.
  • Throw away unsafe food.
  • Use safe water.
  • Use generators and other electrical equipment safely.
  • Dry out your home to prevent mold.

More Information