COURTESY OF AMERICAN RED CROSS
Table of Contents
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Know What to Expect
- Know your area's flood risk--if unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
- 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.
- A flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon.
Prepare a Family Disaster Plan
- Check to see if you have insurance that covers flooding. If not, find out how to get flood insurance.
- Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing . . .
- First aid kit and essential medications.
- 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 infants, 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 them 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 Issued . . .
- Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
- Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
When a Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .
- 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 safety.
- If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
Your Local Red Cross Chapter Can Provide Additional Materials in English and Spanish:
Materials for Children
- "Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book" (PDF File) (ARC 2200, English, or ARC 2200S, Spanish (PDF File) for use by children 3-10.
- "Adventures of the Disaster Dudes" (ARC 5024) video and Presenter's Guide for use by an adult with children in grades 4-6.
- "After the Flood" Coloring Book (ARC 2204, English, or ARC 2204S, Spanish)
And remember...when a flood, earthquake, tornado, 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, please contact your local American Red Cross chapter or emergency management office.