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Flood Safety Tips: Before, During and After a Flood

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BEFORE A FLOOD

  • Prepare a family disaster plan for floods, earthquakes and fires. Make an emergency kit for your home and for your car with emergency supplies such as a flashlight, batteries, water and non-perishable food.

  • Move insurance policies, documents and other valuables to a safe deposit box.

  • Learn the locations of streams and drainage channels in your neighborhood.

  • Learn how to turn off utilities to your home and keep your car's gas tank full so you won't be stranded.

  • Learn the best route to high ground to avoid flood waters.

  • Purchase flood insurance.

 home preparedness supplies


DURING A FLOOD

  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur and move immediately to higher ground.

  • Tune to radio stations KCBS (740 AM) or KSJO (92.3 FM) for emergency information, traffic updates and instructions.

  • If you must evacuate, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment of you are wet or standing in water.

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Evacuation is easier and safer before floodwaters become too deep.

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you and to aid in balance.

  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pick-ups.

Car in flooded street


AFTER A FLOOD

  • Listen for news reports on whether the community's water supply is safe to drink.

  • Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.

  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to your power company.

  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

  • Never try to walk, swim, drive or play in floodwater.

  • Stay out of any building that is surrounded by floodwater. Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage.

  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leach systems as soon as possible.

  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

boots in water


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