Be prepared for a flood

March 24, 2019

Rainfall, snow melt, coastal storms, storm surges, and dam and water system overflows all can lead to flooding. Floodwater can, in turn, cause power outages, disrupt transportation and damage buildings. In 2017, 182 people died from flooding-related incidents, data from Weather.gov shows.

If you live or work where flooding is a risk, identify a safe location to go to when water rises. Other tips from Ready.gov:

  • Keep a weather radio at work and on jobsites, or listen to local alert systems on smartphones for emergency information.
  • Follow evacuation orders. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Never drive around barricades or through floodwaters. Refrain from driving on bridges over fast-moving water, as bridges can be washed away without warning during floods.
  • If trapped in a vehicle in rapidly moving water, stay inside. If the water rises within the vehicle, seek safety on the roof.
  • If you’re trapped in a building and water begins to rise in it, go to the building’s highest interior level; use the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help from emergency workers.
  • Another serious flooding risk is electrocution. Never touch electrical equipment if it’s wet or you’re standing in water. Additionally, avoid wading through floodwater – it may contain dangerous debris or be contaminated. If you need to use a generator or other type of gasoline-powered machinery, only do so outdoors or in an open, well-ventilated area.

Go to msc.fema.gov for info about the flood risk in your area.