According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are one of the most common disasters in the United States. It’s important to be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even small streams, culverts or dry streambeds that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.
- Being aware of flood risks can help protect your home.
- Visit the www.fema.gov website for flood risk information in your area.
- If it has been raining hard for several hours or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
When a Flood Watch is Issued
Once a flood watch has been issued, take the following steps:
- Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
- Fill your car's gas tank in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- Gather emergency supplies, including food and water.
- Tune your radio to weather updates, disaster directions and signals.
- If you must evacuate, take only essential items with you.
- Move to higher ground. Do not drive around barricades; they are placed there for your safety. Do not dive through standing water.
After a Flood
Once flooding has occurred, consider the strategies below:
- Throw away food that is not safe to eat and use bottled water until it is deemed safe.
- Avoid flood water and protect yourself from mosquitoes to avoid contracting any diseases.
- Stay away from damaged buildings and structures.
- Do not touch fallen power lines or turn on your power until instructed by a qualified electrician.
- Wear protective clothing when handling hazardous materials or cleaning up mold.
- Clean up flood damage promptly.