Emergency Preparedness Resources –
Flooding is the nation’s most common natural disaster. However, all floods are not alike. Some can develop slowly during an extended period of rain, others can occur quickly. It’s important to be prepared for flooding no matter where you live, but particularly if you are in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even a very small stream or dry creek bed can overflow and create flooding.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
- Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
- If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
- Property insurance does not typically cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage.
- Fill bathtubs, sinks and jugs with clean water in case water becomes contaminated.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
- If local authorities instruct you to do so, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
- If told to evacuate your home, do so immediately.
- If the waters start to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, the attic, or if necessary, the roof.
- Floodwaters may carry raw sewage, chemical waste and other disease-spreading substances. If you’ve come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.
- Avoid walking through floodwaters. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you must walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Don’t drive through a flooded area. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. A car can be carried away by just two feet of flood water. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately. Attempting to move a stalled vehicle in flood conditions can be fatal.
- Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.
- Do not allow children to play around high water, storm drains or any flooded areas.
- Animals lose their homes in floods, too. Be aware that even domesticated animals may be confused and unpredictable in a flood situation.
Click here to return to the main page and find out how you and your employees can be prepared for an emergency. You can also learn what to do in response to a specific disaster.