Are You Ready for a Flood or a Flash Flood? Flood

Are You Ready for a Flood or a Flash Flood? Flood
Are You Ready for a Flood or a
Flash Flood?
Here’s what you can do to prepare for such emergencies
Know what to expect
Prepare a Family Disaster Plan
✔ Know your area’s flood risk—if
✔ Check to see if you have insurance
unsure, call your local Red Cross
chapter, emergency management
office, or planning and zoning
✔ If it has been raining hard for
several hours, or steadily raining
for several days, be alert to the
possibility of a flood.
✔ Listen to local radio or TV stations
for flood information.
Reduce potential flood
damage by—
✔ Raising your furnace, water
heater, and electric panel if they
are in areas of your home that
may be flooded.
✔ Consult with a professional for
further information if this and
other damage reduction measures
can be taken.
Floods can take several hours
to days to develop—
✔ A flood WATCH means a flood is
possible in your area.
✔ A flood WARNING means flooding
is already occurring or will occur
soon in your area.
Flash floods can take only a
few minutes to a few hours
to develop—
✔ A flash flood WATCH means flash
flooding is possible in your area.
that covers flooding. If not, find
out how to get flood insurance.
✔ Keep insurance policies, documents,
and other valuables in a safedeposit box.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies
Kit containing—
✔ First aid kit and essential
✔ Canned food and can opener.
✔ At least three gallons of water
per person.
✔ Protective clothing, rainwear,
and bedding or sleeping bags.
✔ Battery-powered radio, flashlight,
and extra batteries.
✔ Special items for infant, elderly,
or disabled family members.
✔ Written instructions for how
to turn off electricity, gas, and
water if authorities advise you
to do so. (Remember, you’ll need
a professional to turn natural
gas service back on.)
Identify where you could go
if told to evacuate. Choose
several places . . . a friend’s
home in another town, a
motel, or a shelter.
When a flood WATCH is
✔ A flash flood WARNING means a
✔ Move your furniture and valuables
flash flood is occurring or will
occur very soon.
to higher floors of your home.
✔ Fill your car’s gas tank, in case
an evacuation notice is issued.
Stock Number NOAA PA 92059
ARC 4458
Rev. Aug. 1998
When a flood WARNING is
✔ Listen to local radio and TV
stations for information and
advice. If told to evacuate, do
so as soon as possible.
When a flash flood WATCH
is issued—
✔ Be alert to signs of flash flooding
and be ready to evacuate on a
moment’s notice.
When a flash flood WARNING
is issued—
✔ Or if you think it has already
started, evacuate immediately.
You may have only seconds to
escape. Act quickly!
✔ Move to higher ground away from
rivers, streams, creeks, and storm
drains. Do not drive around barricades . . . they are there for your
✔ If your car stalls in rapidly rising
waters, abandon it immediately
and climb to higher ground.
Your local contact is:
Are You Ready for a Flood
or a Flash Flood?
Prolonged rainfall over several days or an ice jam can cause a river or stream to overflow and flood the surrounding area.
A flash flood from a broken dam or levee or after intense rainfall of one inch (or more) per hour often catches people
Regardless, the rule for being safe is simple: head for the high ground and stay away from the water. Even a shallow
depth of fast-moving flood water produces more force than most people imagine. The most dangerous thing you can
do is to try walking, swimming, or driving through such swift water.
Still, you can take steps to prepare for these types of emergencies. Have various members of the family do each of
the items on the checklist below. Then hold a family meeting to discuss and finalize your Home Flood Plan.
____ Determine whether you’re in a flood area.
Flood area:
____ If in a flood area, is flooding covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy?
(Most insurance policies specifically exclude flooding from rising water.)
Flood insurance:
____ If flooding is not covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, obtain separate
flood insurance.
Insurance company: ____________________________________________________________________________
____ Keep current copies of all important papers or valuables in a safe-deposit box.
Location of safe-deposit box: ____________________________________________________________________
____ Put together a Disaster Supplies Kit in a clearly labeled, easy-to-grab box.
Location of Disaster Supplies Kit: _________________________________________________________________
____ Write instructions on how and when to turn off your utilities—electricity, gas, and water.
Instructions written: ____________________________________________________________________________
____ Decide where your family would go in case you must evacuate. Clear your plan with the
relatives or friends you plan to stay with—or go to a Red Cross shelter. Also, get an extra
map and mark two alternate ways to reach that destination. Add the map to your Disaster
Supplies Kit.
Evacuation plan completed: _____________________________________________________________________
And remember . . . when a flood, tornado, earthquake, fire, or other emergency happens in your community, you can
count on your local American Red Cross chapter to be there to help you and your family. Your Red Cross is not a
government agency and depends on contributions of your time, money, and blood.
For more information, contact your local Red Cross chapter, National Weather Service office, or emergency management
agency. You can also visit these Web sites:
American Red Cross:
National Weather Service:
Federal Emergency Management Agency:
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