Protecting Yourself, Your Family and Your Property
Now that we know floods
DO happen in Marion County, and they can have a devastating impact to us and our property, what can you do to be prepared?
Marion County Emergency Management Division has excellent tips and recommendations for disaster preparedness and what to do before, during and after a flood:
Before a Flood
- Make an emergency preparedness checklist.
- Post emergency telephone numbers.
- Assemble a survival kit. Specifics available at
Marion County Emergency Management.
- Establish a location for the family to reunite if members become separated.
- Learn the emergency plans of the family's schools, day-care centers, workplaces, etc.
- Make a habit of tuning in to daily weather forecasts and be aware of changing conditions.
- Determine an evacuation route and alternates.
- Find out where main utility switches are and learn how to turn them off if they rupture and trained technicians are not available. More information available at
Marion County Emergency Management.
During a Flood
- If there is time, disconnect all electrical and gas appliances. Shut off the water main to keep contaminated water from the water heater (a source of emergency drinking water).
- Bring outdoor possessions inside.
- Move valuables and essential items to upper floors.
- Sandbags should be stacked well away from the building to avoid damaging walls.
- Round up pets.
- Use travel routes recommended by local authorities. See the link below for road closures.
- Keep a radio on for news and updates.
- Watch for flooding at bridges, viaducts, and low areas.
- Be alert for thunder and lightning that may signify rain and more flooding ahead.
- Don't drive over flooded roads. It's impossible to tell how deep the water is, or if portions of the roadway have been washed out. Vehicles may be swept away.
- Never try to cross flowing water above your knees.
- All passengers should abandon a stalled vehicle immediately and move as a group to higher ground.
After a Flood
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- If there is major structural damage or utility breaks, have qualified specialists inspect your home and make repairs before you reenter.
- When inspecting your home for the first time, use a flashlight, not a torch or lantern. Sniff for gas leaks. Wear rubber-soled shoes and rubber gloves in case of severed electrical lines. Don't turn on electrical switches. Check electrical circuits only when electricity has been shut off.
- Don't use flooded electrical appliances until they have been repaired.
- Don't drink municipal water until declared safe.
- Don't rush to pump out a flooded basement. If the water is removed all at once the walls may cave in because of the sudden pressure change. Pump out about a third of the water a day.
- Foods that have come into contact with flood water can be a serious health hazard. The only flood-damaged goods entirely safe for salvage are those in sealed containers.
Be aware of flood hazards
Emergency Management also has information on active hazards in the County:
Another way to protect your property and surrounding area is proper storm drainage. Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Hard surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. This water can pick up debris and plug up stormwater pipes, especially during a flood event. Make sure you clean your gutters and rake leaves and debris away from storm drains to prevent clogging and flooding.
Marion County Environmental Services has more information on current regulations and recommendations, including the County's
Storm Drain Marker Program.
To report drainage or flooding problems in your area, contact Marion County Public Works Dispatch at (503) 588-5304 or complete the online
"Report A Concern" form.
Other Links and Resources
National Weather Service Hydrologic Prediction Service (current and predicted river levels)
Willamette Valley HIgh Water Watch