FACT SHEET: FLOODS AND FLASH FLOODS
Mitigation pays. It includes any activities
that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or
lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in mitigation
steps now such as constructing barriers such as levees and purchasing flood
insurance will help reduce the amount of structural damage to your home and
financial loss from building and crop damage should a flood or flash flood
Find out if you live in a flood-prone area from your local emergency management office orRed Cross chapter.
Learn flood warning signs and your community alert signals.
Request information on preparing for floods and flash floods.
If you live in a frequently flooded area, stockpile emergency building materials. These include plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber nails, hammer and saw, pry bar, shovels, and sandbags.
Have check valves installed in building sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing up in sewer drains. As a last resort, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.
Plan and practice an evacuation route. Contact the local emergency management office or local American Red Cross chapter for a copy of the community flood evacuation plan. This plan should include information on the safest routes to shelters. Individuals living in flash flood areas should have several alternative routes.
Have disaster supplies on hand.
Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a flood or flash flood. Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
Learn about the National Flood Insurance Program. Ask your insurance agent about flood insurance. Homeowners policies do not cover flood damage.
DURING A FLOOD WATCH
DURING A FLOOD
If In A Car:
DURING AN EVACUATION
If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Evacuation is much simpler and safer before flood waters become too deep for
ordinary vehicles to drive through.
Listen to a batter-operated radio for evacuation instructions.
Follow recommended evacuation routes--shortcuts may be blocked.
Leave early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads.
Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede. Listen to a radio or television and don't return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
INSPECTING UTILITIES IN A DAMAGED HOME
Check for gas leaks--If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
Look for electrical system damage--If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician for advice.
Check for sewage and water lines damage--If you suspect sewage lines are damaged avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid the water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.