8 Ways to Prepare for Significant Rain and Flooding


(Updated Oct. 2, 8:40 a.m.)

There’s a lot of rain on tap until Saturday, which could cause some serious flooding situations.

There are two storms to keep in mind:

  1. Friday to Saturday: The National Weather Service is predicting 2 to 3 inches of rain with likely flooding; flood watches are now in effect. The heaviest rain is expected between 2 and 8 p.m. Friday.
  2. Hurricane Joaquin: The path of the hurricane appears to be out to sea rather than on land; keep an eye on weather forecasts.

Here are 8 ways to get ready for the Friday to Saturday rain:

#1: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

If you’re out amid all of the rain that’s coming, we know this message may sound a little funny, but swift water rescues happen in our county when roads flood. Don’t drive through any flooded roads — “turn around, don’t drown.”

#2: Kids and Creeks

Do not allow children to play near creeks or other bodies of water that may rise rapidly. Many of our local waterways and creeks will likely experience some flooding, so keep kids away.

#3: Storm Drains and Gutters

It’s fall, so many of our storm drains and gutters are covered in leaves. Clear leaves from storm drains, gutters and other areas that, if clogged, could cause flooding.  If you live within a homeowner’s association or apartment complex check in to see if they plan to clear common areas.

#4: Move Valuables to Higher Ground

If you live in low-lying areas that have flooded before, move vehicles to higher ground. Try to avoid parking under trees when possible because the saturated ground may lead to downed trees. Move any valuables from the basement, especially if your basement has flooded before. Take pictures of your property before the storms to help validate any insurance claims.

#5: Sandbags

If you think you may need sandbags to protect your property from flooding, especially in areas that historically flood, please visit a local hardware store and get supplies there. Fairfax County does not provide sandbags.

#6: Fairfax Alerts and Wireless Emergency Alerts

Be sure to sign up for Fairfax Alerts and get the latest local watches, warnings and weather updates sent to your various devices. If you own a smartphone and if a dangerous situation warrants based on your location, then you will receive Wireless Emergency Alerts, which is separate from Fairfax Alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts come with a distinct ringtone and vibration pattern in order to get your attention. Pay attention to these alerts, which are usually sent by the National Weather Service.

#7: Supplies and Gas

Get your supplies – water, medicines, canned food, cash, pet food and more. View suggestions for emergency supply kits. In advance of all of this weather, it’s always a good idea to get a full tank of gas if you own a car.

#8: Phone Numbers

Save important phone numbers to your phone or write them down, especially your power company. Always report a power outage.

Please share this information with your family, friends and co-workers so our whole community can be better prepared.

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

2 responses to “8 Ways to Prepare for Significant Rain and Flooding”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Thank you for the information.