Nobody can stop a flood. But if you are faced with one, there are actions you can
take to protect your family and keep your property losses to a minimum.
The most important thing is to make sure your family is safe.
BEFORE A FLOOD:
battery-powered radio tuned to a local station, and follow emergency instructions.
If the waters
start to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor,
the attic, and if necessary, the roof. Take dry clothing, a flashlight and a
portable radio with you. Then, wait for help. Don't try to swim to safety;
wait for rescuers to come to you.
IF TIME PERMITS, HERE ARE OTHER STEPS THAT YOU CAN TAKE BEFORE THE FLOOD WATERS
Turn off all
utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation appears
such as papers, furs, jewelry, and clothing to upper floors or higher elevations.
sinks and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Sanitize the sinks and tubs first
by using bleach. Rinse, then fill with clean water.
possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside, or tie them down
ONCE THE FLOOD ARRIVES:
Do not drive
through a flooded area. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another
way. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else.
Do not walk
through flooded areas. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off
Stay away from
downed power fines and electrical wires. Electrocution is another major source of
deaths in floods. Electric current passes easily through water.
Look out for
animals - especially snakes. Animals lose their homes in floods, too. They may
seek shelter in yours.
AFTER THE FLOOD:
If your home,
apartment or business has suffered damage, call the insurance company or agent who handles
your flood insurance policy right away to file a claim.
a building, check for structural damage. Don't go in if there is any chance of the
the building, do not use matches, cigarette lighters or any other open flames, since gas
may be trapped inside. Instead, use a flashlight to light your way.
Keep power off
until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories. If your home has been
flooded, protect your familys health by cleaning up your house right away.
Throw out foods and medicines that may have come into contact with flood water.
authorities proclaim your water supply to be safe, boil water for drinking and food
preparation vigorously for five minutes before using.
walking around. After a flood, steps and floors are often slippery with mud and
covered with debris, including nails and broken glass.
Take steps to
reduce your risk of future floods. Make sure to follow local building codes and
ordinances when rebuilding, and use flood-resistant materials and techniques to protect
yourself and your property from future flood damage.
More information on recovering after floods
One of the most important things that you can do to protect your home and family before a
flood is to purchase a flood insurance policy.
You can obtain one through your insurance company or agent. Flood insurance is
guaranteed through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency. Your homeowners insurance does not cover flood
Don't wait until a flood is coming to purchase your policy. It normally takes 30 days
after purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into effect.
For more information about the National
Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and flood insurance, contact your insurance company or
agent, or call the NFIP at 1-888-CALL-FLOOD, ext. 445.