Flood Safety Tips


Flooding can threaten many areas of Fairfax County. Follow these safety tips to be prepared all year.

If a Flood is Likely

  • Stay alert and informed.
  • If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • Please keep your children inside and away from streams and creeks.
  • When flooding is predicted, keep your vehicle parked in your garage or on the driveway away from low-lying areas and large drains.
  • Be especially cautious during periods of limited visibility or nighttime when it is extremely difficult to see and judge conditions.

Do Not Drive in Flood Conditions

  • Do not drive in flooded roads – "turn around, don’t drown."
  • Never drive through a flooded roadway; the depth, current and condition of the road are all unknowns and can be deadly.
  • If you come to a flooded area while driving, stop and take an alternate route.
  • If your vehicle stalls on a flooded road and water is rising, get out of car, call 911, and move to higher ground.
  • Always stay away from floodwaters; even six inches of swiftly moving water can knock someone off their feet. Approximately two feet of swift water can move or float most vehicles, including SUV’s and pickup trucks.
  • Be especially cautious during periods of limited visibility or nighttime when it is extremely difficult to see and judge conditions -- state law requires headlights when wipers are on.
  • View a list of roads that historically flood in Fairfax County.

Evacuation Tips

  • Bring medications and other essentials with you.
  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • 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.

Flood SafetyFlood Safety Tips Presentation
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More Information

Important Telephone Numbers Emergency Phone Numbers

Flooding Photos

Photos of Sept. 8, 2011, Flooding


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