This month we're recognizing the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Christmas Flood in Portland and around the state. This weekend's weather forecast looks pretty nice, but it's still a good time to check on your emergency kit and plan for the winter weather ahead.
- Have an emergency evacuation and communications plan for your family.
- Keep supplies you'll need for cleanup and recovery in a safe, dry place.
- Make a record of all your personal property.
- Check out the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood preparedness and recovery pages.
- Download information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on how to prepare for a flood.
- Go to the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management website to learn how to assemble a disaster supplies kit and to learn how to make an emergency plan.
- Your favorite local radio, television, website or weather app may provide flood information.
- For more detailed flood information, check these websites:
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service Forecast Office Portland, Oregon or call 503-261-9246
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Real-Time Streamflow Information
- For Johnson Creek stream data, visit the National Weather Service Johnson Creek Sycamore Gage.
- Don’t walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Just six inches of flowing water can knock you off your feet and hazards can be hidden under the water. If you need to walk through water to get to safety, use a pole or stick to negotiate your way.
- Don’t drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else in a flood. Flood waters can also damage your car.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrical current travels through water and can be deadly. Report downed power lines to your power company.
Check your flood insurance
Consider how vulnerable your home is to flood damage by asking yourself these questions:
- How would I pay for flood damage or for measures to reduce damage?
- Do I have flood insurance?
You should know:
- Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. Over the course of a 30-year mortgage, a property in Portland’s 100-year floodplain has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood. Flood insurance is available through your local insurance agent.
- Portland is part of the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes it possible for Portland residents to purchase federally backed flood insurance. By purchasing flood insurance, you can protect yourself from significant losses. Talk to your insurance agent about your coverage, and also check to see if you have sewer backup insurance.
- Even if you live outside the floodplain, consider having flood insurance coverage. More than 60% of the flood insurance claims are for properties outside of the mapped 100-year floodplain.
- For more information visit these sites:
To find out if your property is in or near a floodplain call 503-823-6892 or visit PortlandMaps.com. (Type in an address and click the "search" button. When the property description comes up, float your cursor over the "Maps" tab and click on "Hazard" to see if your property is in or near a floodplain.)
Reduce your home’s risk of flood damage
If you live in a floodplain, consider making permanent changes to your home, like these, to reduce your flood risks:
- Elevate your home
- Elevate the belongings in your home that are at risk
- Consider flood-proofing measures
- Abandon your basement
- Provide sewer back-flow prevention