Falls Church Alerts will warn of immediate danger. If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you. Sign up and customize your alerts to receive various weather, traffic, and general emergency preparedness information. www.fallschurchva.gov/Alerts.
Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect so the time to buy is well before a disaster. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
Staying Safe During a Flood
Evacuate immediately, if told to evacuate. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
Contact your healthcare provider If you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
Stay inside in your car is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.
If the City’s Emergency Routes are activated, follow the routes and directions from law enforcement.
Staying Safe and Cleaning Up After a Storm
Pay attention to the City’s communication tools (Falls Church Alerts, website, Facebook, and Twitter) for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
Avoid driving except in emergencies.
Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your house.
Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.
Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
Call your insurance company, if you have not already done so, to report damage.
If any gas appliances were exposed to floodwaters, do not attempt to either relight or disconnect them by yourself. Contact Washington Gas: 1-844-WASH-GAS (1-844-927-4427), Option 1
The Virginia State Bureau of Insurance has staff specifically trained to handle disaster insurance questions and problems. Their website also has free consumer guides on what to do after an insured commercial or home property loss. Virginia State Bureau of Insurance: 1-877-310-6560; www.scc.virginia/gov/boi.