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:
- Check the items in your Emergency Kit and review your family emergency plan.
- Listen for instructions from public safety officers and the National Weather Service.
- Flood or Flash Flood Watch: issued by the National Weather Service and means flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
- Flood or Flash Flood Warning: issued by the National Weather service and means a flood or flash flood will occur very soon or is already occurring.
- Stay Informed
- Social Media.
"Like" the NJOEM on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/READYNEWJERSEY
Follow us on Twitter: https:/www.twitter.com/ReadyNJ.
Be sure to sign up for Twitter Alerts at the NJOEM account set up page so you can receive a direct notification to your phone whenever NJOEM issues an alert.
- Reverse 9-1-1. Find out if your community has a "reverse 9-1-1" system or if you can opt-in for email updates from municipal officials.
- Nixle Connect allows the NJ State Police and the NJOEM to send messages to the public by text/SMS, e-mail, and Internet posts. Register to receive messages by sending a text message with your zip code to 888777 (data rates may apply depending on your plan). You can also register on-line at www.nixle.com.
- NJ Alert is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJOEM officials to send e-mail or text messages to cell phones and other email enabled devices during an emergency. Sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to: http://www.njalert.gov.
- NOAA Weather Radio. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from a station nearest your location. NOAA Weather Radios are typically inexpensive, easily available in stores and can usually be programmed for your specific area. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards
- TV, radio and newspapers. Continue to monitor these outlets to stay informed of breaking news and continued coverage of emergency events.
- Cellular Mobile Emergency Alert System (CMAS). The National Weather Service can now send free weather warnings directly to your phone if a hazard is imminent in New Jersey. Check with your wireless carrier to see if your wireless phone is WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) enabled to receive these messages.
- Connect with your local information sources. Contact your County Office of Emergency Management to learn about the localized information sources provided by your county.
- Get up-to-date severe weather information:
- For more detailed advice, check out our Staying Informed page
- Protect your home and secure valuables.
- Fill bathtubs, sinks and jugs with clean water in case tap water supplies become 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 itemsinside or tie down securely, for example lawn furniture, grills and trashcans.
- If waters start to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, the attic, and if necessary, the roof.
- 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.
- Avoid coming in contact with floodwaters.
- Wash your hands with soap and disinfected water if you touch floodwaters. Floodwaters may carry raw sewage, chemical waste and other disease-spreading substances.
- Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.Electric current passes easily through water.
- Do not try to swim to safety!
- Do not drive, walk or swim through floodwaters. Remember: Turn Around, Don't Drown!
- 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