Flood Safety

Preparing for a Flood

  • Make an itemized list of personal property well in advance of a flood occurring. Photograph the interior of your home. Store the list, photos, and documents in a safe place.
  • Memorize the safest and fastest route to high ground.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit containing:
    • First aid kit
    • Canned food and can opener
    • Bottled water, extra clothing
    • Rubber boots and gloves
    • NOAA Weather Radio
    • Battery-operated radio
    • Emergency cooking equipment
    • Flashlight
    • Extra batteries
  • If you live in a frequently flooded area, keep sandbags, plastic sheets and lumber on hand to protect property
  • Install check valves in building sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into drains of your home.
  • Know the elevation of your property in relation to nearby streams and other waterways, and plan what you will do and where you will go in a flood emergency.

When a Flood Threatens

  • If forced to leave your property and time permits, move essential items to safe ground, fill tanks to keep them from floating away, and grease immoveable machinery.
  • Store a supply of drinking water in clean bathtubs and in large containers.
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, floodplains, etc.

During a Flood

  • Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
  • Even 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet, and a depth of 2 feet will float your car! Never try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water.
  • Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. Stop! Turn around and go another way.
  • Keep children from playing in floodwaters or near culverts and storm drains.

After a Flood

  • Boil drinking water before using. If fresh food has come into contact with floodwaters, throw it out.
  • Seek necessary medical care at the nearest hospital. Food, clothing, shelter and first aid are available at Red Cross shelters.
  • Use flashlights, not lanterns or torches, to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service.