Flood Safety Tips

Flood Safety Tips

Flood Safety Tips
In case of a flood, do not panic. Practice safety.

  • Shut off the electrical power. With the possible exception of your refrigerator, turn of all circuits at the breaker box. This will greatly reduce your risk of electrocution.
  • Do not walk through flowing water. Six inches of rapidly flowing water can knock a person off their feet.
  • Look before you step. When walking through standing water, use a pole or a stick to ensure there is still firm ground to step on.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. The water may be deep enough to float your vehicle off the road. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else.
  • Do not use an open flame to inspect damages. Use a flashlight where there are known gas lines. A candle, lantern, or even a cigarette lighter can cause an explosion if there is gas.
  • Stay away from power lines. Electrocution is the number two cause of death during a flood. Report downed power lines to Entergy at 800-968-8243 or 800-9OUTAGE.
  • Look out for animals. Many animals will be flooded out of their homes and will seek shelter anywhere they can. Use a stick to turn over debris very carefully. Animals will be frightened and may attack if alarmed.
  • Pets should be provided for, as public shelters will not allow them.
  • Use caution when reentering a building. Before entering a building, cautiously check for any structural damage. Many people are injured due to unsafe buildings after a storm.
  • Always think before acting.
Protecting Your Home
Flooding causes more property damage than any other type of natural disaster each year in the U.S. While new construction practices and regulations have made new homes less prone to flooding, many existing structures remain vulnerable. There are many ways to protect old and new structures from flood damage. These procedures, known as retrofitting, minimize flooding of the structure, although the property is still subject to flooding. Some recognizable approaches to retrofitting are:

  • Re-grade your lot to direct water from the structure.
  • Construct floodwalls or earthen berms to prevent floodwaters from reaching the structure.
  • Dry Floodproofing waterproof walls and floors.
  • Wet Floodproofing modifying to the structure to allow flood waters to pass through without damaging the structure.
  • Elevation of the structure. This may sound extreme, but for a structure which floods continuously, this may be the only solution.
  • If a flood is coming that you know will threaten your property, there are several steps you can take.
  • Use sandbags to barricade floodwaters and to help prevent erosion.
  • Elevate furniture and other valuables above flood protection level
  • Seal off sewer lines to prevent the back-flow of sewer waters.
  • You may not have much notification, so a detailed checklist prepared well in advance will help you remember everything.
Permitting Requirements

Any building constructed within the City of Jackson requires a building permit. Any clearing, filling, or excavation activities also require permits. Part of this permitting process may require the builder to obtain a "Land/Floodplain Development Permit". This permit is only required if the structure is going to be built in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Through this procedure, the City assures that development is in accordance with flood regulations. These regulations include requiring elevations of living floor areas and limitations on the placement of fill. The City also requires a building in a SFHA undergoing substantial improvements to meet the same standards as a newly constructed building. This is in accordance with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) standards. A substantial improvement to a structure is one that equals or exceeds 50% of the building's market value. Typically, for residential structures, this means raising the living area to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). This process reduces the risk of repetitive flood damage within the City and is also required for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Additionally, a finished elevation certificate is required for any new or substantially improved building in the SFHA.

If you know of any construction, filling, or excavating that is taking place without City permits, please report this activity to the Office of Code Services at (601) 960-1159.

Drainage Maintenance
Besides flood insurance, you should protect your structure by ordinary preventive means. For example, do not sweep or blow yard leaves, pine needles, grass clippings or soil into the street or storm water system. This clogs up the pipes and prevents water from draining. If your property is adjacent to a drainage ditch, please aid the City by keeping the banks clear of brush and debris. Dumping in ditches is prohibited as stated in the City's Storm Water Management Ordinance.
To report someone dumping trash into the storm drainage system or a drainage ditch, or to request needed maintenance of drainage facilities, please contact 3-1-1 (601-960-1111) or 601-960-1168.
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