Flood Preparedness and Response

NEWS // August 29, 2016

Flood Preparedness and Response

Flooding can happen at any time and to anyone. One misconception is that it never floods in San Diego. A common question is ‘why do I have to protect my property from flooding, it never rains here?’ or ‘why do I need to get flood insurance, I’ve never seen this creek flood?’ However, the threat is very real.

The County of San Diego has suffered from numerous major flood events brought on by intense or prolonged rainfall, resulting in loss of life and millions of dollars in property damages. Over the past decade, major floods have occurred in Mission Valley, El Cajon, Ramona, and Borrego Springs. In addition to these major flood events, flooding has been known to occur in localized areas of the County during average seasonal rainstorms such as central and eastern portions of the region which are most susceptible to flash floods.

“Most people think of San Diego as a desert environment – where rain is scarce and flooding is a rarity. But every year we see flash flooding due to monsoonal moisture and we sometimes get very significant rain from winter storms,” said Holly Crawford, County of San Diego Director of Office of Emergency Services. “Preparing your home and your family for flooding is important.”

Here are some tips to be ready…rain or shine:

Be Flood Ready

Protecting Your Property


  • Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. It is important to have protection from the floods associated with heavy rains in San Diego County. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available to property owners to financially protect themselves.

Understanding Your Flood Risk

  • FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center is the official public source for flood hazard information. There, you can find official flood maps and other resources to get a better understanding of your flood risk.             
  • Residents in recent wildfire burn areas should be aware of the increased potential for mud slides, debris flow, and severe flooding. The San Diego County Adverse Weather Map displays the 100-year Floodplain, recent fire burn areas, and weather alerts.

How Much Would a Flood Cost?

  • It only takes a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home or business and its contents. Learn more about the cost of flooding using this interactive tool.