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During a Flood

What to Do During Heavy Rains

  • Be aware of flash floods. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Listen to radio or television stations for local information.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood suddenly.

Preparing to Evacuate for a Flood Watch

  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring outdoor garden equipment and lawn furniture inside or tie it down. Move essential items to the upper floors of your house.
  • If instructed, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances, but do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Fill your car with fuel.
  • Fill the bathtub with water in case water becomes contaminated or service is cut off. Sterilize the bathtub first.
  • Stay away from flood waters. They could be contaminated.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you must walk in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, if you can do so safely. You and your vehicle can be quickly swept away as flood waters rise.
  • When deep flooding is likely, permit the flood waters to flow freely into the basement of your home (or flood the basement yourself with clean water, if you are sure it will be flooded anyway). This will avoid structural damage to the foundation and the house by equalizing the water pressure on the outside of the basement walls and floors. Contact authorities for guidance.