Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat to the United States every year. If you know what to do when flooding occurs, you can increase your chances of survival. Sometimes floods develop slowly and can be anticipated. More often, flash floods can occur within minutes and sometimes without any advance warning. Being properly prepared can save your life and give you peace of mind. Never underestimate the power of water.
Before a flood is the time to prepare!
NOW is the time to make a plan. Important questions to consider:
- What is my flood risk?
- Are we located in a floodplain?
- Where is water likely to collect?
- Where do I go if there is a flood?
Create a communications plan to follow in the event of a disaster and be sure to assemble an emergency kit.
During a Flood…
Stay Informed! Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, local radio/television and the internet or social media for the latest information and updates.
- Get To Higher Ground! Get out of areas that are subject to flooding and move to a safe area before access is cut off by floodwaters. If told to evacuate, do so immediately!
- DO NOT drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade, as 12-18 inches of water can carry away most vehicles. The depth of the water may not be obvious and the roadway may no longer be intact. If your vehicle stalls, leave it and move to higher ground before water sweeps you and your vehicle away.
- DO NOT walk, swim, or play in floodwater. You likely cannot determine how quickly the water is flowing or if there are holes or submerged debris. You may be swept away! As little as 6 inches of rapidly moving water can knock you off of your feet. There is also a danger of hazardous materials polluting the water. Also remember that water is an electrical conductor; if there are power lines down, there is a threat of electrocution.
- DO NOT go into any room if water is covering electrical outlets or cords. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises – Get Out! Do not go into flooded basements as the structures may be compromised.
After a Flood – Now What?
- Avoid flood waters and disaster areas. Obey road closures and other instructions.
- Stay informed! Tune into local news for updated information. Ensure water is safe before using or consuming. Check with utility companies about outages. Never use a portable generator indoors—carbon monoxide poisoning kills!
- Let your family and friends know you are okay.