- 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.
- Floods can take several hours or even days to develop.
- A 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.
What You'll Need
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- Portable, battery-operated radio (and extra batteries) tuned to a local station, with which to follow emergency instructions.
- First Aid kit and manual.
- Emergency food and bottled water.
- Non-electric can opener.
- Essential medicines.
- Cash and credit cards.
- Sturdy shoes.
- Fully charged cell phones.
- Vehicle gas tank full.
- Insurance policies, documents and other valuables in a weather-resistant container.
- Turn off the main electrical power switch, the main water valve for the building, and the main gas valve.
- Move valuables, such as important papers, furs, jewelry and clothing to upper floors or higher elevations.
- Fill bathtubs, sinks and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Sanitize the sinks and tubs first, by using bleach. Rinse, then fill with clean water (in case you were to become stranded inside).
- Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside, or tie them down securely.
When the Flood Arrives
- Only drive through non-flooded areas. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. More people drown in their vehicles than anywhere else.
- If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempting to move stalled vehicles.
- Only walk through non-flooded areas. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
- Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is another major source of deaths in floods. Electric current passes easily through water.
- Be alert for animals; especially snakes. Animals lose their homes in floods, too, and may seek shelter in yours.
- If the waters start to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, the attic, and if necessary, the roof. Take dry clothing, a flashlight, cell phone, a portable radio, and a tool able to break through the roof with you. Call or wait for help.
- If outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there. Avoid swimming to safety; wait for rescuers to come to you.
- If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.