Storm Safety Plan – Flooding

Often, the damage from hurricanes extends far beyond the damage caused by storm surge and high winds. Flooding is a serious and potentially deadly threat that accompanies hurricanes and tropical storms. For the sake of yourself and your family, be prepared for flooding disasters.

Basic Flooding Safety Tips

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters
  • Avoid driving over bridges that lie over fast-moving waters. Floodwaters can easily damage foundation material and render a bridge unstable.
  • As little as 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can float a vehicle away.
  • If a flood is imminent, try to get to higher ground as soon as possible.
  • If you are in your car and floodwaters rise around you, yet the water is still, abandon the car and get to higher ground.
  • Do not park or camp along rivers, streams, or creeks during times of high rainfall as these areas can flood rapidly.

Before the Floods

  • If floods are imminent in your area, make sure you follow weather reports and emergency instructions
  • Know where you should go, as you may have to get to higher ground on foot
  • Put together an emergency preparedness kit that includes first aid supplies, cash, batteries, and a flashlight, along with food and water
  • Bring all outdoor furniture in and move your important belongings to the highest floor in your home
  • Turn off electricity and gas at the main valve or switch if you are told to do so
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances and do not touch anything electrical if you are standing in water or you are wet
  • Make sure you have adequate flood insurance coverage

During the Floods

  • Move to higher ground
  • Evacuate if you are directed to do so
  • Try not to drive or walk in flood waters
  • Do not return home until the authorities inform you that it is safe to do so
  • Familiarize yourself and your family with the local emergency plans. Your family should know where to go to meet up and stay safe in an emergency.
  • Create a flood emergency plan and include plans for shelter, evacuation, and locations on higher ground
  • Stay tuned for weather updates

After the Floods

  • Be careful of areas where floodwaters have receded
  • Be on the lookout for debris. Floodwaters are known to erode walkways and roads
  • Avoid driving through areas that are still waterlogged
  • Do not stand in water as it could be electrically charged from power lines that are underground or those that have fallen
  • Take video footage and photographs of damage to your property for your insurance claims

Flooding can be deadly, so you should ensure that your safety plan includes details for elderly and disabled family members as well as your pets. Make sure you keep all your important documents in a watertight container and keep them on you. Also ensure that the family knows who to get in touch with to report that they are safe.

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