Flood Safety Precautions

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are one of the most common disasters in the United States. It is 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.

Remain Alert:

  • Call your insurance agent to discuss additional coverage if needed.
  • Visit fema.com for flood risk information in your area.
  • If it has been raining hard for several hours or steadily raining for a several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
  • Being aware of flood risks can help protect you and your home.

Before a flood:

  • Practice and know evacuation routes.
  • Elevate your water heater, electric panel, and furnace.
  • Keep important documents in waterproof containers.
  • Clean out your drains and gutters.
  • Install check valves in your plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • Build an emergency supply kit in case you have to leave immediately.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank in case an evacuation notice is issued.

Protecting your pets and animals:

  • Prepare a pet emergency kit for companion animals.
  • Make sure that any outbuildings, corrals, or pastures are protected the same way as your home.
  • If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them either!
  • Learn evacuation routes for you and your pets – many hotels and shelters do not take animals so be aware of places that will allow your furry loved ones.
  • Consider having your animals ‘microchipped’ by your veterinarian.

When a flood watch is issued:

  • Move immediately to high ground.
  • If you can, move valuables to higher levels of your home or office building.
  • Construct barriers such as levees, berms, and flood walls to stop floodwater from coming into your home or office building.
  • Gather emergency supplies, such as food and water.
  • Take only essential items if evacuated.
  • Listen to the radio or television for updates.

During a flood:

  • If you haven’t already, move to high ground immediately.
  • Do not walk through moving water.
  • If you are driving and come across a flooded road, turn around! Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The water may be deeper than it appears.
  • If driving and water begins to rise around your vehicle, abandon it and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. If you vehicle is trapped in moving water, stay in your vehicle. If water is rising inside, seek help on the roof of your car.
  • Do not underestimate the power of flood waters.
  • Turn off utilities at the main power switch.

After a flood:

  • Stay away from damaged buildings, structures, and fallen power lines.
  • Check for structural damage before entering your home.
  • Avoid any remaining flood waters, protect your self from mosquitoes to avoid contracting any diseases.
  • Throw away old food that is not safe to eat and use bottled water until it is deemed safe.
  • If you were advised to evacuate, do not return to your home until emergency officials say it is safe.
  • Stay out of any type of flood waters, they may be contaminated with gasoline, oil, or raw sewage.
  • Still water may be electrically charged by fallen or underground power lines.