Flood Safety(Provided by the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter)
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain, for several hours or days, which saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.
The following information is provided to help keep you and your loved ones safe should a flood hit your area:
Make a Plan
Planning ahead is the first step to ensure your household is prepared for a flood.
Develop a Communication Plan:
It’s often easier to make a long-distance call after a disaster, so identify an out-of area contact who will serve as a central connection point. Have everyone report their status to this contact who will pass the information along to others. Let your out-of-area contact know your communication plan. For a smaller event, make sure to have a local emergency contact on hand.
Decide Where to Meet After a Disaster:
Choose a place near home in case of sudden emergency. Choose a second place outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Also know the evacuation sites at work, school or day care.
Pick Safe Places in Each Room:
A safe place could be under a piece of sturdy furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
Determine Escape Routes:
Find two ways out of each room in your home and know your neighborhood evacuation routes.
Plan for Your Pets:
With the exception of service animals, pets are not allowed in disaster shelters, so prepare a list of family members, friends, boarding facilities, veterinarians and pet-friendly hotels to shelter your pets in an emergency. See Plan for Pets for more information.
If you have special needs, make sure to arrange for a network of neighbors, friends or relatives to check on you in the event of an emergency.
Review and Practice Your Plan
|Get a Kit: Store enough supplies for everyone in your household for at least three days. Include any necessary items for pets,|
children, seniors and people with disabilities. Prepare kits for your home, workplace and car.
Non-perishable Food: Pack items such as energy bars, canned soup or peanut butter.
One Gallon of Water Per Person Per Day
First Aid Kit and Medications
Flashlight, Battery-operated or Crank Radio, Essential Tools and Maps: Include batteries, wrench to shut off
the gas in case of a leak, can opener, screwdriver, hammer, pliers, knife, duct tape and garbage bags.
Clothing and Sturdy Shoes
Personal Items and Sanitary Supplies: Pack important documents, hygiene supplies and comfort items such
as books and toys.
Cash in Small Denominations
Emergency Contact Information
Learn how to protect yourself and get training to help others before, during and after a flood.
Tune to 740 AM or 88.5 FM for emergency advisories and instructions, and be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
After the Flood
Return home only when officials have declared the area safe. Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula. Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.