Before the Flood
- Make an inventory of your possessions, valuables, papers and property.
- Store valuable items on upper floors and keep all chemicals out of the basement.
- Learn safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground.
- Install check valves in sewer traps so flood water cannot backup in sewer drains.
- Be aware that high waters can cut off your return route.
If You Must Leave Your Home:
- Lock all doors and windows and double-check to ensure gas and other heating fuel sources are turned off and that electricity and the water are shut off at the main valve or breaker leading to the house.
- Remove insecticides and toxic chemicals from the house to prevent contamination.
- Ensure that each member of your family has a blanket, warm clothing and waterproof outer wear. Take waterproof footwear for each family member.
- Ensure each family member has identification, especially the young children. Name tags on clothing, wallet cards or wrist bands are all useful.
- Seal all personal documents and family papers in plastic bags.
- Take a supply of essential medications for each family member. You should always maintain a minimum two-week supply of prescription drugs.
- Carry all items necessary for the care and feeding of any infants in the family, including diapers, feeding bottles and foods.
- Bring hand towels and toiletry items for each person.
- Take an AM/FM transistor radio and a flashlight (preferably one that uses solar or windup so you don’t have to depend on batteries).
- Determine a location to move to before leaving and make sure each family member knows where it is. Provide younger children with a note sealed in plastic stating the family’s destination. This will help the family reunite if separated for any reason.
Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
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.
Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters. Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
DO NOT visit a disaster area. Crowds hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, leave it and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can quickly be swept away.
Driving in flood conditions:
Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
Take extra care when driving. Familiar roads will appear drastically different when flooded.
Be on the lookout for damaged bridges, slides and washouts and be particularly alert for downed power lines. Report these to the power company.
Be alert for emergency personnel and signs providing evacuation route directions.
Obey officials who are directing traffic or involved in rescue or flood control operations. They are there to assist you and to make sure the situation is handled safely and effectively.
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