Owning a riverfront property has numerous benefits but also presents the risk of flooding. Though larger flood events are not an annual occurrence, they do occur and will continue to occur. If you live along a stream or river, you must accept the fact that large flood events will impact you and your property. Advance planning for flooding is critical for your safety and to minimize damages to your property, as well as the properties immediately upstream and downstream of you.

This advance planning can take many forms and each landowner will need to determine what they will do to prepare for flood events. This can range from making meeting place plans with family members, to stocking up on fresh water and food, to identifying secondary access points to and from their property. Whatever planning you decide to do, you must be prepared to put your plans into action in the case of a flood. It is also important to review your preparedness plan with family members frequently so that everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

Remember: floods are unpredictable and dangerous, but you can make sure that you and your family are prepared for when they happen!

Two of the largest flooding events in the Big Thompson watershed occurred in 1976 and 2013 (shown here). Both resulted in major losses of property, infrastructure and life. Part of living along a waterway is preparing your family for emergencies such as floods.

Photo Credit: Justin Smith

As a property owner, you have a number of city and county resources that you can rely on for the most up to date disaster preparedness information and to access local resources in the event of a flood. Many Northern Colorado counties and cities offer comprehensive resources for disaster preparedness and recovery through their Office of Emergency Management (OEM). The links below offer the most up to date information on emergency management information for the region, as well as preparedness guides from the OEM’s:

Boulder OEM Emergency Preparedness Guide

Weld County OEM Management Community Preparedness

Larimer County Emergency Management

Fort Collins/Poudre Fire Authority Flood Preparedness

Ready.gov Flood Information

Along with reviewing these websites and documents, you can create written plans for what and your family will do before, during and after a flood. The American Red Cross is an excellent resource for this type of flood preparedness, providing detailed guidance on how to prepare these plans.