To prepare for, and protect against, a flood, you should:
·Build an emergency kit.
·Make a family communications plan.
·Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
·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.
Know the terms to help understand flood hazard:
·Flood Watch - Flooding is possible; tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
·Flash Flood Watch - Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
·Flood Warning - Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
·Flash Flood Warning - A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
Know how to act during flood:
·Listen to the radio, television, or your Weather Radio for information.
·Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
·Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
·If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following: § Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
·Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
·Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, 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, when water is not moving or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
·Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.
If you’re driving;
·Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
·A foot of water will float many vehicles.
·Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
·Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
·Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go another way.
·Do not try to take short cuts. They may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
·Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
Make an Emergency Plan
·Identify three places to meet family and friends in the event of an emergency. One in your neighborhood, one in your town, and one out of town.
·Learn how you will get to your out of town location; determine your evacuation routes.
·Write down information on important locations like workplaces, schools, daycares, houses of worship, etc.
·Make sure you take into account everyone’s needs, such as any medical concerns, communications, etc.
·Know how you will learn important information after a disaster (radio, warning sirens, reverse 911, etc.).
·Share contact information with everyone (friends, family, and out of town contacts).
For more information about Flood Safety, visit the following sites:
https://www.floodsmart.gov/ (National Flood Insurance)