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Floods 

From the Red Cross:

During a flood, water often becomes contaminated.


FACT vs. FICTION


Fiction:

Fill your sinks and bathtubs for drinking water in case flooding water interrupts or contaminates the public water supply.


Fact:

Water stored in bathtubs and sinks should never be used for drinking or for bathing young children because lead can leak from the glaze in bathtubs and sinks into water stored in them. However, you can use water stored in bathtubs and sinks for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing.

Before the Flood:

  • Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking.
  • Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing.
  • Fill your car's gas tank, in case you need to evacuate.
  • Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors.
  • Turn off propane tanks to reduce the potential for fire.
  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to prevent damage to your home or within the community. If you shut your gas off, a professional is required to turn it back on.
  • Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges that may occur.

If You Have Pets or Livestock

  • Consider a precautionary evacuation of your animals, especially any large or numerous animals. Waiting until the last minute could be fatal for them and dangerous for you.
  • Where possible, move livestock to higher ground. If using a horse or other trailer to evacuate your animals, move sooner rather than later.
  • Bring your companion animals indoors and maintain direct control of them. Be sure that your pet emergency kit is ready to go in case of evacuation.

During a Flood:

Staying Safe Indoors

  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
  • Boil tap water until water sources have been declared safe.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.
  • Dispose of any food that comes into contact with flood water.

Staying Safe Outdoors

  • Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
  • If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Don't walk on beaches or riverbanks.
  • Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.

 
 

FACT vs. FICTION


Fiction:

If you have a truck or SUV, it’s okay to drive across rushing flood water.


Fact:

Just two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks.

Never try to drive across rushing flood water.

After a Flood

Returning Home Safely

  • Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around your home.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water. Report them immediately to the power company.
  • Follow these tips for inspecting your home’s structure and utilities & systems after a flood.
  • If any gas or electrical appliances were flooded, don’t use them until they have been checked for safety.
  • Dispose of any food that has come into contact with flood water.
  • Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purposes.

Cleaning and Repairing Your Home

  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
  • Learn more about how to clean up after a flood, including the supplies you’ll need, how to sanitize food contact surfaces, and how to repair water damage.
  • Be careful when moving furnishings or debris, because they may be waterlogged and heavier.
  • Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected. This includes mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys.
  • Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters and mud. When in doubt, throw it out. This includes canned goods, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and containers with food or liquid that has been sealed shut.
  • Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage. If the water is pumped out completely in a short period of time, pressure from water-saturated soil on the outside could cause basement walls to collapse.
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are health hazards.

 

What Do You Need In A Survival Kit?

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:

  1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  3. Flashligh
  4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  5. Extra batteries
  6. First aid kit
  7. Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  8. Multi-purpose tool
  9. Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  10. Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  11. Cell phone with chargers
  12. Family and emergency contact information
  13. Extra cash
  14. Emergency blanket 
  15. Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags