Flood Preparedness and Mitigation

Flood Preparedness and Safety

Flooding can happen anywhere; and flooding is Mecklenburg County's most common - and most expensive - natural disaster.

Safety Tips: Before, During & After a Flood

Tips to Prepare for Flooding

  • Know the types of flood risk in your area. Remember, flooding can happen anywhere, even outside of a floodplain.
  • Make a plan for your household so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves from flooding.
  • Build a "Go Kit" of the supplies you will need if you have to quickly evacuate your home.
  • Sign up for CharMeck Alerts to receive timely and accurate emergency information, including updates on flooding.

Tips for Staying Safe During Flooding

  • Depending on where you are, go to the safe location that you have identified. If you are not able to shelter in place or with family, go to a public shelter.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Do not walk or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown!

Tips for Staying Safe After Flooding

  • Listen to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving except in emergencies.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris.

These safety tips are courtesy of Ready.gov.



Stay Safe: Buy Flood Insurance

Did you know that traditional homeowner and renter insurance policies do not cover flooding? Luckily, the National Flood Insurance Program is available to all (even if you don't live in a floodplain). Please remember, there is typically a 30-day waiting period after you purchase. Learn more at Floodsmart.gov.



View the Latest Rainfall and Creek Data

You can locate the latest rainfall and creek data throughout the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County by visiting the Flood Information Notification System or FINS. This system alerts local fire, police, emergency management and MEDIC to the threat or actual danger of flooding. It is a partnership involving the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the US Geological Survey. Across the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, there are 71 rain gauges that collect rainfall data. Forty-six of these gauges send warnings to emergency responders. Our area also has 52 stream gauges that collect information. Fourteen send warnings to emergency responders when issues arise.

FINS questions? Contact:

Joshua McSwain
IT Project Manager



Watch Flood Safety Videos

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services has created a series of videos to communicate important flood safety information. Watch our videos on our Flood Safety playlist on YouTube



Returning Home after a Flood Toolkit

Check out these helpful resources to ensure you return home safely after a flood. Documents last updated in Fall 2020.



Helpful Resources


John Wendel, Mecklenburg County
Senior Communications Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services

Scierra Richardson, APR
Senior Public Information Specialist
City of Charlotte Storm Water Services

Flood Mitigation Program


Storm Water Services works to protect potential loss of life and property from flooding by monitoring, studying and reducing flood risk, while enhancing the natural and beneficial functions of the floodplain along FEMA-regulated streams throughout Mecklenburg County. To reduce future flood related losses, Storm Water Services' Flood Mitigation Program implements floodplain regulations and manages flood hazard mitigation.

Flood Hazard Mitigation

The Flood Mitigation Program is responsible for minimizing flood hazards in the FEMA regulated floodplain by reducing the likelihood of contact between people and floodwaters.

Storm Water Services contributes to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

As a national leader in local floodplain management, CMSWS has historically integrated risk identification, assessment, and planning. These efforts have resulted in the successful implementation of structural and non-structural risk reduction measures, including the acquisition and demolition of more than 250 flood-prone structures within the County as well as the adoption of local floodplain development regulations that exceed Federal standards. This Flood Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction Plan(PDF, 3MB) (Flood RA/RR Plan) is designed to assist the County’s Flood Mitigation Program in building and expanding upon these previous efforts to minimize the consequences to people and property when a flood occurs.

Activities include:

  • Developing and implementing long-term strategies for reducing flood risk. Long-term strategies prioritize funding and projects with the goal of protecting lives and reducing flood losses. The governments of Charlotte, the six Towns and Mecklenburg County have a document outlining a community vision to protect lives and the environment from all types of natural disasters, called the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

  • Planning and constructing capital projects (including pursuing grant funding for projects)

  • Grant management

  • Encouraging owners of flood-prone property to retroFIT their homes with measures that mitigate against flooding

  • Maintaining the Flood Information & Notification System for emergency responders

  • Partnering to maintain a countywide stream and rain gage network (USGS)

  • Providing education about flood safety, insurance and flood risks

  • Building a Flood-Resilient Future

  • Managing the Floodplain Acquisition Program

  • Managing the Floodplain Mapping Program

  • Processing Letters of Map Change (LOMCs)

  • Administering Floodplain Development Permits

  • Supporting Flood Insurance needs and the Community Rating System (CRS)

  • Contributing to the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

National Flood Insurance Program

Additional Information