Flood Survival Kit Guide, Gear List, and Checklist

by Tommy Grant

For specific scenarios like flooding, specific gear can help you be more prepared. A general disaster kit is a good start for general preparedness, but if you know that you are at higher risk for floods, getting together a flood survival kit is a good idea. A flood survival kit is not a standalone kit- it simply consists of supplies that you should prioritize higher or include in your home survival kit.

This kit isn’t necessary for everybody, but if you are in a flood zone, close to the coast, or live near other large bodies of water, we’ve got you covered. Below we break down what a flood survival kit is, and how the key components augment your preparedness, and share our flood survival kit checklist that you can download, print, or save in multiple formats.


Contents (Jump to a Section)


What is a Flood Survival Kit?

A flood survival kit can be many things with one objective: to improve your survivability through flooding- whether you prevent, mitigate, or evacuate.

Usually, the term is referencing a basic disaster supplies kit, but it makes more sense to focus on gear that helps specifically with flooding.

That gear usually includes wet-weather clothing, flood-prevention equipment, detection gear, and evacuation supplies. It also includes specific solutions for food and water, as well as emergency documents. All of this is meant to be used in addition to your foundation kits: your home survival kit, bug out bag, everyday carry, and evacuation vehicle.


Flood Survival Kit vs Home Survival Kit

Flood survival kits are designed to meet a more specific goal than general survival kits. They apply to a specific range of flood-related threats and focus on preparedness items to meet the challenges these present.

Flood survival kits focus on protecting you and your property from rising water. Food, water, communication supplies, and other shared focuses are extremely important, but a flood survival kit tweaks many of these to withstand or outrun temporary flooding.

If you are looking for our top-level guide with all supplies related to in-place survival at home, check out our comprehensive home survival kit:


Flood-Specific Supplies

A massive amount of rising water requires a very specific set of equipment and the ability to make snap decisions effectively. Even the most prepared can lose a battle against a regional flood. Having this gear on hand can give you the upper hand if the flooding is possible to mitigate.

Personal Clothing

Protecting your person is important- you’ll need to stay dry to prevent medical issues from flaring up when you need to be alert and mobile.

Flood Prevention

Prevention is difficult after the fact and needs to be done ahead of time. Here is the gear we suggest:

Flood Detection

Detecting water and having a heads up on weather information lets you know what sort of danger you are in. Here is what we suggest:

  • Weather Radio/Light/Charger: NOAA CR1009 – You’ll be able to monitor flooding, flood levels, major road closures, and evacuation orders. (This radio is the top pick from our weather radio review.)
  • Flood Detector: Govee Water Alarm – Get a head start on localized flooding with water-activated alarms. (This detector is the top pick from our water alarm review.)

Evacuation

Even if you choose to not evacuate when ordered to, you need to be prepared. Don’t skip evacuation planning under any circumstances, and do not get cornered by rising water.

  • Signal Flares: Orion Safety Flares – If you find yourself in a tight spot, you’ll need to be able to effectively signal for help. These were the top pick in our emergency flare review.
  • Collapsible Kayak: INTEX Inflatable Kayak – This is a very niche solution that isn’t for everyone. The point is, that you need a way to be mobile when the waters have risen.

Food and Water

Your food and water storage can quickly become ruined or contaminated in a flood. To prepare, we suggest you add these:

  • Waterproof Ration Bars: SOS Emergency Rations – Calorie-dense rations that are Coast Guard-approved for any vessel won’t get ruined by rising waters.
  • Water Filter: Lifestraw Family – Water can be abundant in a flood but is dangerous to drink untreated and unfiltered.
  • Water Purification Tablets: Potable Aqua – Make filtered water potable by treating it with tablets.

Other Kits and Documents

This gear and list are meant to augment your large in-place home kit. You will need food and water storage capabilities, many tools, and mobility when it comes to flooding emergencies. Here are the kits you should already have built out:

You should also have your Emergency Plan around as a reference, and we suggest keeping your insurance documents updated.


Covered Threats

There are several scenarios, threats, and domino effects that a flood survival kit is designed to cover. You will also want to factor in these threats for any other survival kits you build. Specifically, we are looking at:

Related events that can cause flood include:

Also, as a domino effect, you will possibly see these as the result of the events above:


What Happens if You Don’t Prepare?

Hopefully, nothing! The chances that you encounter a flood are low and the chances that it is deadly are even lower.

In the US, only about 100 people die per year directly from a flood, and most of those are drivers. However, floods cause an average of $2.5 billion in property damage in the US each year with that spiking up to $60 billion in 2017. Also, most people do not have flood insurance.

As we mentioned above, the numbers gloss over the fact that many more people die from related issues: power outages, house fires, supply chain disruptions, and immobility. Finding healthcare during a flood is difficult if not impossible. Finding food if your pantry gets contaminated is also a tall order.


Evacuation Planning

Evacuation should always be a possibility you plan for, but especially for floods. Many people will start with evacuation, as the risk level just doesn’t make sense to stay put and try to protect an indefensible property.

It’s always up to you what you choose to do, but all emergency agencies agree that prior evacuation is the best course whenever evacuation may be needed.


Premade Flood Survival Kits

Most premade flood survival kits are simply disaster survival kits. They do not include most of the specialized supplies we listed above or have in our checklist below.

Some premade kits, like earthquake kits, distinguish between natural disasters but most do not.

We’ve gone through premade survival kit reviews extensively and although we prefer to build our survival kits, they do work well for those short on time.


Flood Survival Kit Checklist

A perfect flood survival kit doesn’t exist- what is right for you depends on your situation and risk tolerance. That said, we have as close to perfect of a starting point for you: our complementary checklist. Not complementary as in it’s free (it is free, though)- but as in this list augments a full preparedness plan and standard survival kits.

Just to be clear: This checklist is meant to be added to our full home survival checklist if you are near the coast, in a flood zone, or at risk of flash flooding.

Our checklist is available as both a pdf download and as a Google Sheets/Excel file where you can check off items yourself, and even add and subtract items from the checklist.

Flood Survival Kit Printable PDF Checklist

If you are looking for the simplest way to print and use the checklist above, download our printable PDF version. It is one page long on 8.5″ x 11″ paper and makes creating a kit extremely easy. Once you open the flood survival kit PDF checklist in your browser, you can either print it directly or save it through your browser.

Flood Survival Kit Checklist Excel / Google Sheets

If you are looking for a comprehensive way to track your flood survival kit contents, open our Excel / Google Sheet version. The sheet is sharable, and you just need to copy it to your own Google Sheets account or download it to Excel to edit it. We also keep the best-reviewed item for each category linked to simplify shopping for any equipment you may find yourself missing.


The Next Step

Whether or not you’ve chosen to build a flood survival kit, our next step in this guide series stops off at EDC, or Everyday Carry. What you have on you when an unexpected disaster emerges can determine whether you can even make it to your flood survival kit.

Check out our Everyday Carry Guide here:

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.


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