CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Officials in this coastal city are urging residents to prepare for flooding before it happens, because water can rise so quickly, you may not have time in heavy rains.

Assistant Community Services Director Zach Eichholz says there are easy ways to give your home a fighting chance against potential flooding.

Using sandbags is simple and easy: The county hands out sandbags ahead of the storms, but the city wants to remind residents that taking sand from the beach to fill the bags is illegal. There are new types of sand-free sandbags that residents can find online.

Also, "extend your downspout by 6 feet to move water away from your house; make sure your landscaping is properly grated so water flows away," Eichholz says.

Street flooding that creeps into homes caused by clogged storm drains is preventable, he says.

"Go to your yard before a storm and pick up any loose debris (and) litter, because once the rain starts, it will get washed into the storm drain and clog it up,” Eichholz says.

Rain barrels underneath gutters can help with minor flooding, and the water can be used later for things such washing your car and watering the garden.

According to longtime resident Angie Kolsch, prevention is key. She says to make sure your roof is in good condition and do a walkthrough of your entire property.

"You have to look around your house and ask yourself, 'How well is your house built?' " Kolsch asks. 

She says you should fix any small weak spots in your home sooner rather than later.

"Do you have sturdy windows? Look at your front door; if you have leaky spots when you have a storm, you're going to have damage or severe damage," she adds. 

According to Cape Canaveral officials, storm surge on the coast is a very serious occurrence, because the water rises quickly after the rain, and the coastal waves add force.