- Flooding likely? Do the following:
Stay tuned to your local TV or radio station for updates.
If flash flooding is possible, move to higher ground immediately. Do not wait for instructions to move.
Flash floods can also occur in streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Also be aware that typical signs, such as rain clouds or heavy rain, do not always precede flash floods.
- Before you evacuate:
If you can do so safely, secure your home by moving your most essential items to an upper floor. Also bring outdoor furniture inside if time permits.
If instructed to do so by your local utility company, turn off utilities at their main source, using the appropriate switches or valves.
Disconnect electrical appliances. Be sure to use caution and never touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- When evacuating, remember the following:
Just six inches of moving water can cause you to loose your footing and fall. If you must walk through water, try to find water that is still. Also, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the vehicle if you can do so safely, and move to higher ground.
If you do find yourself out in your vehicle during a flood, Ready.gov offers the following "Driving Flood Facts":
Six inches of water will reach the underside of most passenger cars. This can cause your car to stall, or cause you to loose control of the vehicle.
It only takes one foot of water to float many vehicles.
Just two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. That includes higher profile models, like sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pick-up trucks.
Never attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious or the roadbed may be washed out under the water, which can leave you trapped or stranded.
Never drive around a barricade. If you come upon a barricade, turn around and go the other way.
Avoid taking alternate routes or shortcuts, which may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
Be especially cautious if you have to drive at night. It's much harder to detect flood dangers in the dark.
- After the flood, remember to:
- Download a PDF to print for reference in the event of a flood:
- Be Red Cross Ready: A Flood Safety Checklist
SOURCE: FEMA, Ready.gov,
Stay tuned to local alerts and warning systems. These are the best sources for information and informed advice as it becomes available.
We've said it before but it bears repeating: avoid moving water.
Stay away from damaged areas. Your local police, fire, or relief organization will ask for help if needed and will give instructions on where you should go to volunteer.
Stay off of the roads and out of the way so that emergency workers can assist people in flooded areas.
Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur without much warning.
You should return to your home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
Never attempt to cross a closed road. Roads may still be closed due to damage or because they are covered by water.
If you can't avoid walking or driving in flooded areas, stay on firm ground. Moving water as little as six inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Also, use caution: standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Continue to use caution even where floodwaters have receded. Roads can become weak and can potentially collapse under the weight of a car.
Stay out of any building that is surrounded by floodwaters.
Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage in them, particularly in foundations.