Action Tips: Flood Readiness

Know What to Expect

  • Know your area's flood risk. Contact your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
  • If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.

Be Prepared

  • Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
  • Consult with a professional for further information if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken.
  • Create an emergency plan with your family.
  • Compile an emergency kit for your home and car.

Be Educated!

  • A flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area.
  • A flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
  • A flash flood WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area.
  • A flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon.

When a Flood Watch or Warning is Issued

  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
  • Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.

When a Flash Flood Watch or Warning is Issued

  • Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment's notice.
  • If you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!
  • Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades...they are there for your safety.
  • If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

Remember:

  • 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 flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.

Sources:

FEMA
American Red Cross