Flood Safety

Flood Warning System:

Pinellas County flood warnings are broadcast by local television stations, including PCC-TV (Spectrum 637, WOW 18, Verizon 44), as well as by the National Weather Service NOAA Weather Radio. Tune in to these media stations for instructions during times of possible flooding, including storms. Listen for weather updates, evacuation orders and expected storm arrival times.

Find out if your home is at risk for flood and educate yourself on the impact a flood could have on you and your family

  • Flood Watch:
    Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flash Flood Watch:
    Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning:
    Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning:
    A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

Notification / Stay Connected: 

Staying connected to important information can help you, your family, and your business survive the storm.
Pinellas County has several additional methods of communication to keep you informed. You can:

  • Register for  ALERT PINELLAS- Pinellas County will notify you of an emergency with phone and text messages!
  • Sign up for E-Lert- newsletter.  During emergencies, subscribers will receive emergency bulletins and instructions.

To find your evacuation level visit Know Your Zone, just type in your address or call the Interactive Hurricane Evacuation Level Inquiry Line at (727) 453-3150 for information, call (727) 464-3800 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Safety Tips 

  • Prepare Ahead: The information and links to resources will assist you in your planning, but how well you do it is up to you. Take the time to prepare ahead, you'll be glad you did.
  • Before a Flood:
    • Find out what your flood risk is.
    • Avoid building in a floodprone area unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
    • Retrofit your property: Elevate the A/C, water
      heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
    • Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
    • Purchase flood insurance for your home, business, or rental.
    • Know Your Zone.
    • Make an emergency plan to protect you, your family, and your pets. Pet friendly shelters are limited.
    • Protect you home by Building Smart.
    • For more information on what to do before, during and after a natural disaster, visit Emergency Management.
  • During a Flood:
    • Do not panic.
    • Know your hurricane evacuation level, know your evacuation routes and plan where you will go.
    • Prepare a small bag with essentials.
    • Tune in to local media for flood watches and warnings.
    • Heed warnings from officials – evacuate when orders are given.
    • Have battery-operated flashlights, radios and televisions in working condition.
    • Shut off water service, gas service and electricity to your home.
    • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
    • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
      • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
      • One foot of water will float many vehicles.
      • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
  • After a Flood:
    • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
    • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated or electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
    • Avoid moving water.
    • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
    • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company.
    • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
    • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
    • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
    • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
    • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
    • Watch for critters such as snakes, raccoons, possums and insects that may have "moved" into your evacuated home, since they too look for shelter and relief from flood waters.