Never Miss a Chance to Do the Most Good

Please enter your name, email and zip code below to sign up!

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter a valid zip code
Flood Relief Image

Flood Relief

The Salvation Army provides relief to those who have been impacted by floods.

Rising flood waters can be fear-inducing and dangerous. Sometimes, floods destroy homes or entire communities.  

If you have been impacted or displaced by flooding in your area, contact your local Salvation Army or find a Salvation Army shelter near you to get emergency assistance.


Flooding: The Most Frequent Disaster 

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and one of the most costly. They are usually the aftermath of severe storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes, or can be caused by thawing snow, several days of severe rain, or overflowing dams and water systems. Because of the various environmental causes, floods can happen at different speeds. Flash floods, for example, come on with very little warning. 

Even if there is minor flooding in your area, floodwaters are deceptively dangerous. They can hold chemical waste, debris, and animals, or electrically charged currents. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet, and two feet of moving water can push your car away. Despite their unpredictability and dangers, you can prepare for a flood to stay safe. 

The Salvation Army's Flood Relief Efforts 

In the wake of any type of disaster, The Salvation Army has been boots on the ground, serving our neighbors in need. Our disaster relief efforts and disaster assistance programs serve affected communities through our emergency relief efforts, long-term recovery strategies, and spiritual care outreach.

Emergency Relief

The Salvation Army acts as a partner to local organizations and federal authorities to provide emergency relief to survivors of flooding. Our disaster relief workers mobilize to the areas where disaster survivors are in need of necessities such as food, water, and basic comforts, and provide for those needs in addition to clean-up kits, blankets, and financial assistance to those that need supplies. We have emergency shelters across the nation for those who have lost their homes due to flooding, and can also turn our properties into refuge sites.

Learn how the Salvation Army's helped flood victims in Louisiana

Long-Term Recovery

We understand that disasters like floods leave lasting effects long after the waters have receded. The Salvation Army is committed to providing long-term recovery and disaster relief efforts for as long as a community requires us. Our disaster recovery teams and emergency service providers often stay months and sometimes years after a disaster, working with local, state, and federal authorities to help with long-term disaster relief programs.

Our long-term relief efforts not only continue to meet the basic needs of the affected communities, but also collaborate on restoration and rebuilding projects, dispersing financial assistance, and distributing goods to help survivors during the rebuilding process after a disaster. And because we have a permanent presence in thousands of communities across the country, that means we’re still in the community to help months, even years, after a disaster. We work with local, state, and federal governments to form a long-term disaster recovery plan.

Spiritual Care

Although some disasters do not leave lasting physical harm to survivors, many survivors and first responders alike hold emotional stress and trauma following a crisis. The Salvation Army's disaster recovery assistance also includes trained, professional emotional and spiritual care to those grappling with trauma from a disaster. We’re prepared to offer a hug, a prayer, a listening ear, or even counseling to aid in the recovery process. No matter what’s needed, The Salvation Army is ready to help.


Flood Preparedness

By taking some extra time to prepare for a flood, you can increase your family’s chances for safety and minimize damage to your property. We also have a disaster preparedness handbook that includes a helpful checklist for family flood relief preparedness. 

  • Know the difference between a “flood/flash flood watch” and a “flood/flash flood warning”. A “watch” means to be aware while a “warning” means to take action, that an actual disaster is imminent. 
  • Have an emergency kit ready, and make sure it has updated essential supplies. Check our Disaster Preparedness page for a full list of what you should have in your emergency kit. 
  • Create a household evacuation plan that includes your pets, and make sure you know in advance your local evacuation routes. 
  • Ensure each family member knows your Communication Plan and how to get in touch in the event that you are separated. 
  • Stay informed about your community's flood risk and if you are located in a floodplain (a Special Flood Hazard Area). Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center to know your risk. 
  • For property owners located in a floodplain, you are eligible for flood insurance. Ensure your property is covered from damage if you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area or see how local nonprofit organizations and disaster aid programs can provide assistance to homeowners in the event of property damage. 
  • Prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home by installing plumbing check valves. 
  • If your home needs a sump pump, make sure you have a battery backup in the event there is a power outage. 
  • Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts, either from an app, online broadcast, or portable NOAA radio to stay up to date on disaster declarations. 
  • Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking. 
  • Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing. Bathtub and sink water should not be used for drinking. 
  • Fill your car's gas tank in case you need to evacuate. 
  • Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors. 
  • Use sandbags when flooding is expected to create a barrier wall one foot high and 20 feet long. 
  • Turn off propane tanks, gas, and electricity (if instructed) to reduce the potential for fire. 
  • Disconnect electrical appliances. Never touch electrical equipment that’s wet. 
  • Move important items in your home to the highest floor. 
  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe deposit box or waterproof casing and keep them in a safe place to prevent document damage during a flood. Take pictures on a phone, and keep copies of essential documents and files on a flash drive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys. 
  • When floodwaters start to rise, move to higher ground, and evacuate if notified. 
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals. 
  • Don’t drive or walk through flooded areas. Standing water may be electrically charged, conceal debris, or be contaminated. 
  • If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. 
  • Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car. 
  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc., can become filled with water. 
  • Let friends and family know you’re safe. 
  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. 
  • Return home only when it’s safe, as determined by local authorities. 
  • Photograph damaged property for insurance claims. 
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater. 
  • If any gas or electrical appliances were flooded, don’t use them until they have been checked for safety. 
  • Dispose of any food that has come into contact with flood water. 
  • Contact your local Salvation Army for disaster assistance, or if you need food supplies or emergency shelter.  

How To Help 

Disaster donations to The Salvation Army not only helps us provide aid to flooding survivors, but also first responders giving care. Your donations also make it possible for our long-term relief efforts to help rebuild devastated communities. 

Donating Money

By donating to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief services, you make it possible for us to provide necessary relief supplies such as food and hygiene items. Donations also help our emergency shelters stay open in the wake of a disaster and provide the groundwork for our long-term recovery efforts and rebuilding projects.   

Donate Now

Donating Goods

Depending on the severity of flooding, you can donate the following needed items to help survivors and those providing aid. These include: 

  • Bandanas, work gloves, and other protective clothing items
  • Bottled water and other packaged drinks
  • Boxes, barrels, and heavy-duty plastic bags (for survivors to collect their possessions)
  • Cleaning items such as rags, mops, brooms, and scrub brushes
  • Device chargers First aid kits
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Gently used or new work boots or rain boots
  • Hygiene items including soap, detergent, disinfectant, garbage bags, and hand sanitizer
  • Infant care items such as formula, diapers, and rash cream
  • Linens such as bedding and pillows
  • New undergarments such as underwear or socks
  • Nonperishable, packaged food items and snacks
  • PPE, including dust masks
  • Protective equipment such as work gloves, boots, helmets, and masks
  • Rebuilding supplies, including plastic tarps, nails, plywood, and hand tools
  • Safety equipment, including dust masks and first aid kits
  • Snacks Supplies for cleaning and rebuilding projects, including helmets, gloves, and tools
  • Toys and books to entertain children
  • Utility tools such as plastic buckets, shovels, and rakes

Please contact your local Salvation Army incident management team before collecting or trying donate these items. The local emergency disaster services team will need to establish reception and distribution plans before these items can be collected or distributed to people in need, and a surprise in-kind donation, though well-meaning, can become an increased challenge for disaster teams and personnel.

Donating Time

The Salvation Army relies on volunteers to help give back to communities impacted by flooding. By volunteering your time, you can help by distributing food, performing first aid, transporting donations, and helping with on the ground recovery efforts and rebuilding projects. Reach out to your nearest Salvation Army today to prepare to help flood survivors in the future. 

Contact your local Salvation Army for disaster assistance, or if you need food supplies or emergency shelter.


Press Resources
Experts for Interview

If you are a member of the media and would like to speak with one of our experts, please contact:

The Salvation Army