Know what to expect
Know your area’s flood risk—if unsure, call your
local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning
and zoning department.
If it has been raining hard for several hours, or
steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a
Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood
Reduce potential flood damage by—
Raising your furnace, water heater,
and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be
Consult with a professional for further information
if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken
can take several hours to days to develop -
Flash floods can take only a few minutes
to a few hours to develop—
a flood WARNING is issued -
Listen to local radio and TV stations for information
and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to
evacuate on a moment’s notice.
When a flash flood WARNING is issued -
Or if you think it has already started, evacuate
immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!
Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams,
creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades . . . they
are there for your safety.
If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon
it immediately and climb to higher ground.
a Family Disaster Plan
Check to see if you have insurance that covers
flooding. If not, find out how to get flood insurance.
Keep insurance policies, documents, and other
valuables in a safe deposit box.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
First aid kit and essential medications.
Canned food and can opener.
At least three gallons of water per person.
Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or
Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra
Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family
Written instructions for how to turn off electricity,
gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll
need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places
. . . a friend’s home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.
When a flood WATCH is issued—
Move your furniture and valuables to
higher floors of your home.
Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation
notice is issued.
Prolonged rainfall over several days or
an ice jam can cause a river or stream to overflow and flood the
A flash flood from a broken dam or levee
or after intense rainfall of one inch (or more) per hour often catches
Regardless, the rule for being safe is
simple: head for the high ground and stay away from the water. Even a
shallow depth of fast-moving flood water produces more force than most
people imagine. The most dangerous thing you can do is to try walking,
swimming, or driving through such swift water.
Still, you can take steps to prepare for
these types of emergencies. Hold a family meeting to discuss and
finalize your Home Flood Plan.
Keep current copies of all important
papers or valuables in a safe-deposit box.