Tips - After a Flood

Returning Home
  • Flood dangers do not end when the water recedes. Listen to local radio or television and do not return home until you hear it is safe. When you do return home, use extreme caution.
  • Before re-entering a building, check for structural damage that could cause the building to collapse. Be alert for potential gas leaks, electrical shorts, and live wires.
  • Use flashlights instead of lanterns or candles when entering a building that has a gas heater or gas stove.
  • Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage. See Washington Department of Emergency Management video, Pumping Out a Flooded Basement.
  • Watch out for small animals or rodents that may be hiding under debris.
  • Remove and empty sandbags. Store sand for future use. Do not dump sand into or on the banks of a river or stream or into storm drains.
Assessing Damage
  • Have a professional check your heating system, electrical panel, outlets, and appliances before using them. Call the gas company to have the gas turned back on.
  • Contact your local building official for damage determinations and permit questions.
  • Document your losses. Photograph damage and record estimated repair costs.
  • Contact your insurance agent for flood loss claims.
  • Make a permanent mark on your residence or property to show the maximum height reached by flood waters. This mark can be used by you to correlate the river gage readings with water levels on your property and by government agencies to analyze flood damages.
  • Check all food and drink items that may be contaminated by flood water. See Washington Department of Emergency Management video, Evaluate Food Safety.
  • Financial assistance may be available following a federal disaster declaration. Call the Department of Emergency Management and listen to the radio or television for information on disaster assistance.
Helpful Numbers
Topic Contact(s)
Septic Tank and Well Problems
Snohomish Health District: 425-339-5250
Flood Debris Disposal
Snohomish County Solid Waste: 425-388-3425
To Report Road / Bridge Damage
Snohomish County Road Maintenance: 425-388-3411, ext. 7500 or 800-562-4367, ext. 7500 
To Report Dike Damage
Snohomish County Surface Water Management: 425-388-3464
Flood Recovery Assistance
Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management: 425-388-5088
Inspection of Flood-Damaged Structures
Snohomish County Planning and Development Services: 425-388-3311
For Assistance returning farmland to Predisaster Conditions
North Puget Sound Area USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA): 425-334-3131, ext. 104
Assistance with Home Elevations, Relocations, and Buyouts
David Wilson, Snohomish County Surface Water Management: 425-388-3464, ext. 4619