Hazard: Inland, Coastal & Riverine Flooding (See Mitigation Page
for description of all hazards)
- Act Now to be Prepared
- The Hidden Danger - Low-Water Crossing
- During the Flood
- Travel with Care
- After the Flood
- Additional Resources
Safety Tips to be Prepared
- Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
- Develop and practice a “family escape” plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
- Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
- Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
- Plan arrangements for your pets.
- Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.
- Keep your automobile fueled. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
- Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing.
The Hidden Danger - Low Water Crossing
- Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related. When driving during flood conditions, look out for flooding at highway dips, bridges and low areas.
- Even the largest and heaviest of vehicles will float. Two feet of water will carry most cars away.
- As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Do not drive through flowing water.
- A hidden danger awaits motorists where a road without a bridge dips across a creek bed.
- Motorists develop false confidence when they normally or frequently pass through a dry low-water crossing.
- Road beds may have been scoured or even washed away during flooding creating unsafe driving conditions.
- Those who repeatedly drive through flooded low-water crossings may not recognize the dangers of a small increase in the water level.
- Driving too fast through low water will cause the vehicle to hydroplane and lose contact with the road surface.
- Visibility is limited at night increasing the vulnerability of the driver to any hidden dangers.
- Heed all flood and flash flood watches and warnings.
- Remain aware of road conditions.
- Monitor the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Weather Radio or your local radio and TV station broadcasts for information.
- Bring outside possessions inside the house or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects.
- Disconnect electrical appliances. DO NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
- If you are told to shut off water, gas, or electrical services before leaving, do so.
- Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.
- Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
- Make sure you have enough fuel for your car.
- Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sightsee.
- As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
- Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
- Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
- DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
- DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car.
- If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.
- Listen to the radio or TV for instructions from local officials.
- Wait until an area has been declared safe before entering it. Be careful driving, since roads may be damaged and power lines may be down.
- Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank. Air out to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
- Upon entering the building, use a battery-powered flashlight. DO NOT use an open flame as a source of light. Gas may be trapped inside.
When inspecting the building, wear rubber boots and gloves.
- Watch for electrical shorts and live wires before making certain the main power switch is off.
- DO NOT turn on electrical appliances until an electrician has checked the system and appliances.
- Throw out any medicine or food that has had contact with flood waters.
- Test drinking water for portability. Wells should be pumped out and water tested for drinking.
- If the public water system is declared 'unsafe' by health officials, water for drinking and cooking should be boiled vigorously for 10 minutes.
- Shovel out mud with special attention to cleaning heating and plumbing systems.
- Flooded basements should be drained and cleaned as soon as possible.
Information on Inland and Coastal Flooding - DPW Highways:
Information on Flooding related to Tropical Cyclones - OEM: