Floods are one of the most common weather hazards in the United States and can happen anywhere at any time of year. It is important that you and your family develop a plan and make necessary preparations.
Create a Disaster Kit
This kit should include a portable radio, flashlight, extra batteries, first aid kit, prescription medications, food supplies, bottles of water, credit cards and cash, an extra set of car keys, map of the area, important phone numbers, personal identification, and other items special items such as diapers or hearing aid batteries.
Develop a Family Disaster Plan
Create a plan with your family to set in place where to go for safety if a flood required you to leave your home. Involve all family members in this planning process. Ask an out-of-state friend or family member to be your primary family contact.
Protect Home Heating, Water & Electricity Systems
Have your furnace, water heater and electric panel raised to higher floors or the attic by a professional if these utility systems are in a flood-prone area of the home, like the basement.
Listen to the Radio or Television for Updated emergency Information
For instance, use the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Weather Radio, on a portable, battery-powered radio to get updated flood information as it is happening.
Fill your Bathtubs with Clean Water
Severe floods may interrupt utility services such as water. When floods threaten, it's best to fill sinks, tubs, and water bottles with fresh water.
During a Flood:
Head for Higher Ground
If a flood warning has been issued, find higher ground immediately. It's extremely important to note that floodwaters can appear even when there is no rain in the immediate area. Remember, it is always best to do this before the situation becomes critical.
Do not Walk or Drive through Floodwaters
Water six inches deep is enough to knock a person over, and water less than two feet deep can sweep away a car. In fact, about 80% of flood-related deaths are caused by driving into floodwaters - and the majority of those vehicles were SUVs. The larger, more buoyant tires in SUVs can cause the vehicle to float more easily than smaller vehicles with smaller tires.