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Climate and Health: Flood Hazards and Recovery

A white triangle with red trim sign, flood, set on flooded road

Before a flood hits, get ready with Wisconsin's Flood Resilience Scorecard

The Wisconsin Climate and Health Program and UW Sea Grant recently created the Flood Resilience Scorecard (FRS), an online flood planning "checklist" for local governments. FRS helps communities:

  • Assess past, current, and projected flood impacts holistically.
  • Identify ways to improve their flood-readiness with tailored recommendations and links to funding opportunities and technical assistance resources.
  • Complete the FRS process quickly with compiled data needed to fill out the checklist.

Never swim or bathe in flooded rivers, streams, creeks, or lakes.

Flood waters may contain sewage, fertilizer, gasoline, pesticides, hazardous materials, or large chunks of debris such as fallen tree limbs, boulders, metal objects, sharp objects like fence posts and nails, etc.

Verify your drinking water is clean and safe after a flood.

Private well users should take precautions if their well has been flooded. Public water users should follow any "boil water" notices or other directions from their water utility or local health department. They should also run their faucets for at least five minutes before using water for drinking or food preparation.

Take proper safety measures when cleaning up after a flood.

Before entering a flooded home, assess any potential hazards to avoid injuries and other health risks. Use caution when cleaning your home with bleach.

Flooding toolkit

If you live or work in a flood-prone area, take steps to protect yourself and your property. The Wisconsin Flood Toolkit, P-00631 provides general guidance on flood safety for health professionals and the public.

Recovering safely from a flood

Watch this video on how to protect your health and stay safe when recovering from a flood. It covers important topics such as re-entering your home, dealing with mold, food safety, and cleanup.

Wisconsin DNR resources

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides resources and guidance on recovering from a flood, how to take a well sample, and other information about what to do if your well floods.

For more information on cleaning your home after a flood, using bleach, and potential hazards related to flooding, refer to our navigation.

Last revised April 8, 2024