How to Protect Ourselves Before & During Flood
General Flood Precautions
- Remain calm and take all necessary precautions.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated radio with extra batteries. Follow all instructions. If told to evacuate move out of the house or building to a safe, high ground.
- Turn off all utilities at main switch if evacuation is necessary. Do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area or you are standing on piece of dry wood with rubber footwear and gloves.
- Remove all valuables. Wrap all important personal items, family documents electrical appliances, pictures and wall hangings in plastic bags.
- Avoid already flooded areas. Do not attempt to cross any stretch of floodwaters on foot if water is above your knees.
- Cars can become coffins in floods. DO NOT drive where water is over roads as under those floodwaters the road could already be washed away and rapidly rising water could lift the car and carry it away.
- If caught in a house by suddenly rising water move to second floor and or if necessary, to the roof. Take warm clothing and a flashlight with you – as well as battery radio. Wait for help.
- Use only recommended routes if you must travel.
- Create a family disaster plan, including a family disaster supplies kit.
- Plan an escape route and be aware of which roads near your home flood easily. Plan ahead where the best place to go would be. A shelter? A friend’s home?
- Educate family members about emergency procedures. Make sure everyone, including children, know where electric fuse boxes, water service mains, and natural gas mains are and how to turn them off if necessary.
- Plan for your pets. Since pets aren’t allowed in shelters due to health regulations, make sure you have a plan to keep your pets safe.
- Ask an out-of-state friend or family member to be your contact should family members get separated during an evacuation. Make sure everyone in your family has contact numbers.
- Check your sump pump. Keep it clean and test it regularly.
- Keep an accurate, complete list of the possessions in your home stored off site in case you later need to file insurance claims. An example of a free tool is the Allstate Insurance Digital Locker, a home inventory application that allows you to create and manage a list of your possessions through online cloud storage.
During a Flood
- Do not walk through moving water. As little as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of moving water can make you fall.
- If you have to walk in water, wherever possible, walk where the water is not moving. 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 car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.