Floods claim an average of 263 lives every year in the United States. Flood waters only one foot deep can sweep you off your feet.
- Determine if your home is in a flood plain by contacting your local emergency manager. If you do not live in a flood prone area, learn flood safety rules anyway - you may be visiting when flooding occurs. If your home is located in a flood plain, store materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber to protect your home from flood waters. Contact your local emergency manager for additional information on how to protect your home from flooding.
- Discuss flood insurance coverage with your agent. Flood losses are not covered under normal homeowners’ insurance policies. Flood insurance is available in some communities through the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Plan your evacuation. What will you take? Where will you go?
Know potential flooding terms. These warnings will be broadcast on radio and television. Your family should plan for each.
- Flood Forecast: rainfall is heavy enough to cause rivers to overflow their banks. Action: Discuss your possible evacuation.
- Flood Warning: flooding is occurring or will occur soon. Action: Turn off utilities if home is likely to be flooded, fill car’s gas tank and prepare to evacuate.
- Flash Flood Watch: heavy rains are occurring or expected that may cause sudden flash flooding in specified areas. Action: Prepare for evacuation.
- Flash Flood Warning: flash flooding is occurring or imminent at designated areas. Action: If your area is affected - evacuate immediately to higher ground. If you are driving, stay away from storm drains and irrigation ditches. Never drive around a police barricade. If your car stalls in rapidly rising water, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
During Heavy Rains:
- Listen to the radio for warnings and directions issued by emergency management personnel. You may be asked to fill your bathtub with drinking water, secure your house, put sandbags in place or evacuate to higher ground.
- Follow directions carefully.
- Evacuate to higher ground.
- If you see any possibility of a flash flood occurring, move immediately to high ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Police barricades are there for your protection. Do not drive around them!
- Walking or driving through flood waters is the most dangerous thing you can do.