Storm Rapid Damage Assessment
What is a Rapid Damage Assessment (RDA) Team?
The purpose of the Pierce County team that may be in your area is to conduct rapid damage assessment of river infrastructure.
These assessments take place during or after a high-water event to determine if infrastructure such as levees or revetments were damaged. Pierce County looks for issues such as cracks, downed trees, loss of vegetation or sediment and debris piling up in the river or on its banks.
Once we collect the information from the area, we will determine how to address any damage. We may conduct additional assessments, make an emergency repair, repair it as part of our routine maintenance program, or fix it as part of a larger infrastructure project.
Stay away from the edge of the river during or after high water events. Always look upstream, so you can see anything coming down the river. Floods are loud! However, if you hear a noise that sounds like a large train and the ground is shaking leave immediately. That could be a sign the levee is collapsing.
Report any changes to the river banks you see here or call (253) 798-6000.
Sign up for PC Alert
Pierce County Alert is a free service that allows you to sign up and receive notifications about emergencies that may affect the locations you care about. Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for our Emergency Alert Program. This system enables us to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, flooding, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.
You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how. Receive alerts on up to 10 different devices such as your cell phone, home phone, email, text messages and more. Sign up Here
Before a Flood
Know if you are in a flood prone area and what you can do to prepare:
- Call (253) 798-2725 or request a free map showing the flood risk on your property. Please include your parcel number in the request.
- You can also call the phone number above to learn how you can build safely or improve your home in preparation for the next flood.
- Buy flood insurance. Visit floodsmart.gov or contact your agent.
- Have an emergency plan for home, work and school.
- Know several safe routes to high ground from your home, school or business.
- Establish meeting places in case family members are separated.
- Designate an out-of-state emergency contact to call if local phone lines are down.
- Assemble an emergency kit.
- Coastal residents need to secure loose items so waves and storm surges do not pick up the items, potentially injuring someone or damaging property.
- For more information, go to piercecountywa.gov/prepare.
During a Flood
- Do not walk or drive through flooded areas. Follow recommended evacuation routes.
- Monitor local news for emergency updates. Be prepared to evacuate. If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it and walk to safety in the direction you came from.
- If you are unable to safely leave a building due to rising water, first call 911. Then, move to a higher floor or the roof. Take warm, waterproof clothing, a flashlight, a cell phone and a battery or solar powered radio.
- If possible, turn off all utilities, including power and gas. Do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is completely in a dry area.
After a Flood
- Only go home when authorities say it is safe.
- Before re-entering your home, be cautious of potential structural damage, gas leaks, electrical shorts and live wires.
- Have a professional check your heating, electrical panel, outlets and appliances for safety before you use them.
- For safe clean-up of food, water supply and property contact the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at (253) 798-6470.
- Pump out flooded areas gradually to avoid structural damage.
- Document your losses. Photograph damages and record repair costs. Contact your insurance agent for flood loss claims.
- Before you begin repairs, get a permit. Contact Planning and Land Services at (253) 798-3739.