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Keeping Safe
Protecting homes, businesses and transportation networks
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flooding can happen during a drought
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Flooding & Safety
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Flood safety advice: Before, During, After

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BEFORE A FLOOD

  • Designate a household meeting spot and develop an emergency plan and kit with supplies for your home and car.
     
  • Seal cracks in your home’s foundation, exterior home walls, and small openings around pipes.
  • Prepare your home. Stop floodwater from entering your home with materials like plywood, plastic sheeting, and sandbags

  • Keep rain gutters and drainage channels free of debris. Tarp or seed unvegetated slopes on your property.
  • Do not pollute, dump, or drain anything in creeks. Know your neighborhood streams and drainage channel locations.

  • Check with your community’s floodplain manager before you build.
  • Learn how to turn off house utilities.

  • Keep your car’s gas tank full or fully charged.
     
  • Sign up for early flood warning text alerts at www.valleywater.org/floodready.

 

DURING A FLOOD

  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If a flood is imminent, avoid low-lying areas and seek shelter in the highest spot possible.

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
     
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
     
  • Evacuation is safer and easier before floodwaters become too deep. For more information, see www.ready.gov/evacuation.
     
  • Moving water is dangerous. Six inches of moving water can cause a person to stumble or fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where it is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you and aid in balance.
     
  • Understand shallow flooding risks – don’t drive through standing water. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground. A foot of water will cause many vehicles to float. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pick-ups.

 

AFTER A FLOOD

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

  • Never walk, swim, drive, or play in floodwater. Oil, gasoline or raw sewage may have contaminated the water. Underground or downed power lines may also have electrically charged the water.
     
  • Please stay away from downed power lines and report them to your power company. Do not attempt to turn on a gas meter if the service is disconnected. Contact your utility and or your local police department.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
     
  • Clean and disinfect everything wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
     
  • Any repairs or improvements greater than 50 percent of a structure’s value need to meet National Flood Insurance Program requirements.