Before the Flood
It is important to make plans before the flood arrives. Your advanced plan should include the following (at a minimum):
- Purchase flood insurance at least 30 days before the event and keep your policy and other important papers in a safe place such as a fire-proof box, safety deposit box, or waterproof container.
- Learn the safest route from your home in case you have to evacuate.
- Fill the gas tank of your automobile.
- Purchase sandbags, plywood, and plastic sheeting to protect your property. Never place sandbags directly adjacent to walls.
- Make arrangements for your pets.
- Create an emergency supply kit to include:
- Fresh water to last seven days (one gallon per person per day)
- Non-perishable food to last seven days with paper products and plastic serving utensils
- One change of clothing and footwear per person
- First aid kit with prescription medicines
- Personal hygiene items
- Portable radio (preferably a weather band radio) and flashlight with plenty of extra batteries
- Extra set of car keys
- Cash, preferably in small bills
- Necessary items for infants, elderly, disabled family members and pets
- A small basic toolkit
During the Flood
In Your Home
If you are in your home when it begins to flood, move to the second floor or to the roof. Do not try to swim to safety; floodwaters can move very rapidly. If time permits, turn off all utilities, particularly electricity and gas, and board up windows. Bring outdoor possessions inside the house.
In Your Vehicle
Turn Around. Don't Drown. If you are in a vehicle during a flood, do not drive into standing water. Two feet of water can cause most vehicles to float. A majority of deaths occur because the driver didn’t feel the water was that deep. If the vehicle stalls, abandon it.