Homeland Security and Emergency Management

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
​​Spring Flooding 

Spring Flooding

What You Need to Know Now

  • The Twin Cities National Weather Service has released its final spring flooding forecast as of March 10. Minnesota continues to have a normal or average threat for spring flooding over the entire area. Parameters are very close to normal, and while the snowpack is a little above average in the north, there is ample storage available in the soils and other off-channel areas due to dry conditions over the past year. However, very heavy rainfall during the snowmelt could cause significant flooding this year.​ Review the final flood outlook here. ​​​
  • We encourage all property owners in Minnesota to consider obtaining flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. It takes 30 days for a policy to go into effect. Read our recent DPS blog on obtaining flood insurance.
  • Homeowners should also check their water/sewer backup coverage in their property insurance policies

Before a Flood

The following list includes action steps everyone can take to prepare for any type of flooding:

  1. Assemble an emergency kit: It should include provisions for you and your family to live on for a at least three days. Do not forget medications, medical equipment needs, phone chargers and pet supplies.

  2. Make an emergency plan: Communicate and practice that plan with your family. Choose an evacuation route. Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government.

  3. Get a NOAA Weather Radio: Listen for information, including advisories, watches and warnings. Watch news reports for information and sign up for text alerts.

  4. Prepare your home: Elevate appliances such as the furnace, water heater and electric panel. Install "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home. Construct barriers to stop water from entering the building and seal basement walls.

  5. Get flood insurance: Property insurance does not typically cover flood damage and any disaster assistance will not cover all damages. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider additional coverage. Flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect, so purchase now to protect your family. DPS blog on flood insurance.

Review this checklist for additional ways to prepare and protect your home. (DPS)

Before a Flood steps as listed in the adjacent text


During a Flood

Turn around, don't drown. Never walk or drive through floodwater

The following list includes action steps everyone can take to stay safe while flooding is in progress:

  1. Stay informed: Listen to news reports; check the internet and social media for updates from local authorities. Watch text alerts for more information.

  2. Obey evacuation orders: If you live in a flood prone area or are camping in a low lying area, get to higher ground immediately. If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your home when you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.

  3. Practice electrical safety: Don't go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises--get out!

  4. Avoid flood waters: Don't walk through flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 if possible.

  5. Turn around, don't drown: Do NOT drive into flooded roadways, across bridges or around a barricade. Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards. If your vehicle stalls, rising water may engulf the area. Seek higher ground immediately, such as climbing onto the roof.

    Download the "Turn around, don't drown" graphic in the following languages:
    What to Do in a Flash Flood. Prepare to evacuate. Do not walk or drive through flooded areas


After a Flood

  1. Listen for information/instructions: Return home only when authorities say it is safe. Contact family and friends.

  2. Avoid floodwaters: The water can contain dangerous debris and be contaminated. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water. Avoid driving through disaster areas, except in emergencies.

  3. Be aware of electrocution risks: Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe, turn off the electricity to prevent shock. Use a generator or other gas-powered machines outdoors and away from windows.

  4. Safety first: Protect yourself from potential hazards. Snakes, insects and other animals may be in your house. Look for sewage, mold, contaminated food. Buildings may not be habitable, so examine structures before entering. Wear protective clothing (gloves, boots, masks, goggles). Have a first aid kit and clean drinking water available.

  5. Begin recovery: Take photos/videos and keep records of any damages. Report damages to your county emergency manager and insurance company.

Coming home after a flood. Your home may be contaminated. Make sure power and gas are off. Photograph damage and contact insurance agent


General Flood Preparedness, Response and Recovery Resources