Flood Emergency Preparedness

Portsmouth Emergency Operations Center (EOC)


Visit the Portsmouth Emergency Operations Center page to get detailed information to assist you in preparing your family, property, and business for emergencies, natural or manmade, that may affect our community. You will find Storm Surge maps, Evacuation Routes, Emergency Shelters, Planning for Special Needs, and Recovery information on those pages.
Evacuation Zones
Evacuation Routes
Hurricane Storm Surge Map Category 2

Virginia Hurricane Storm Surge Tool


The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) has created a web map that allows users to view storm surge risk, shown by color-coded storm surge category any location or address in Virginia.

The map also identifies primary Hurricane Evacuation Routes data is to identify primary evacuation routes. Not all routes that people can use will are identified on this map.

Before the Flood


It is important to make plans before the flood arrives. Your advanced plan should include the following (at a minimum):
  • Purchase flood insurance at least 30 days before the event and keep your policy and other important papers in a safe place such as a fire-proof box, safety deposit box, or waterproof container.
  • Learn the safest route from your home in case you have to evacuate.
  • Fill the gas tank of your automobile.
  • Purchase sandbags, plywood, and plastic sheeting to protect your property. Never place sandbags directly adjacent to walls.
  • Make arrangements for your pets.
  • Create an emergency supply kit to include:
    • Fresh water to last seven days (one gallon per person per day)
    • Non-perishable food to last seven days with paper products and plastic serving utensils
    • One change of clothing and footwear per person
    • First aid kit with prescription medicines
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Portable radio (preferably a weather band radio) and flashlight with plenty of extra batteries
    • Extra set of car keys
    • Cash, preferably in small bills
    • Necessary items for infants, elderly, disabled family members and pets
    • A small basic toolkit

During the Flood


In Your Home


If you are in your home when it begins to flood, move to the second floor or to the roof. Do not try to swim to safety; floodwaters can move very rapidly. If time permits, turn off all utilities, particularly electricity and gas, and board up windows. Bring outdoor possessions inside the house.

In Your Vehicle


Turn Around. Don't Drown. If you are in a vehicle during a flood, do not drive into standing water. Two feet of water can cause most vehicles to float. A majority of deaths occur because the driver didn’t feel the water was that deep. If the vehicle stalls, abandon it.