Plan & Prepare
Floods: What to do During a Flood or Flash Flood
(Much of the information on this page is adapted from information provided by the American Red Cross, and FEMA).
Steps To Take During A Flood:
- Listen to a battery-powered radio or television
for the latest storm information, and for instructions from
Public Safety Officials.
- A Flood or Flash Flood Watch issued by the National
Weather Service means flooding or flash flooding is possible
in your area.
- A Flood or Flash Flood Warning means a flood
or flash flood will occur very soon or is already occurring.
- Check the items in your Emergency
Kit and review your Family
- Fill bathtubs, sinks and jugs with clean water
in case water becomes contaminated.
- Tip: Sanitize the sinks and bathtubs by using bleach. Rinse, then fill with clean water.
- Move valuables, such as papers, furs, jewelry
and clothing to upper floors or higher elevations.
- Bring outdoor items, such as lawn furniture, grills
and trashcans inside, or tie down securely.
- If public officials instruct you to do so, shut off water
and electricity. Leave natural gas service ON unless
local officials advise you otherwise.
- Prepare to evacuate, in case public safety officials
direct you to do so.
- Fill your car's gas tank, or listen for evacuation instructions for those who depend on public transit.
- If told to evacuate by public safety officials, do so
immediately. See the Evacuation instructions below.
- If waters start to rise inside your house before
you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, the attic,
and if necessary, the roof.
- Avoid coming in contact with floodwaters.
- Floodwaters may carry raw sewage, chemical waste and
other disease-spreading substances. If you touch
floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected
- Electric current passes easily through water. Stay
away from downed power lines and electrical wires.
- Do NOT try to swim to safety!
- Do not drive, walk or swim through floodwaters.
Remember: Turn Around,
- Look out for animals, especially snakes, that may
be seeking higher ground to avoid floodwaters.
If Directed To Evacuate:
- Do not evacuate unless or until directed to do so by
public safety officials.
- When directed to evacuate, follow the instructions
you are given by public safety officials. Heed their advice
- Leave as soon as possible.
- Bring your Emergency
- Dress for the prevailing weather conditions, at minimum a long sleeve shirt, pants, and sturdy shoes.
- Take your pets with you. Remember that pets
(other than assistance animals for people with disabilities)
are not permitted in emergency shelters. You must follow
your plan to go to a friend's home or a pet-friendly hotel.
Click here for tips.
- Lock your home.
- Use travel routes specified by local authorities
- don't use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable
- Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
Stay away from downed power lines.
- If you are sure you'll have time:
- Call your family contact to tell them where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
- Shut off water and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so. Leave natural gas service ON unless local officials advise you otherwise.
- Listen to local authorities. They will provide
you with the most accurate information specific to an event
in your area. Stay tuned to local radio and television.
A battery-powered radio is a vital part of your Emergency