Flooding can be a major threat to your community. It can damage your home and threaten your safety. Familiarize yourself with these flooding safety tips to be better prepared:
- Avoid driving into water of unknown depth. Moving water can quickly sweep your vehicle away. Just 12 inches of water can float a small car.
- Avoid walking in flood waters. Currents can be deceptive. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
- Don’t use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters. Wash canned goods that come in contact with floodwaters with soap and hot water.
- If your home or business is flooded, do not enter if water remains. Stay away from downed power lines outside.
- If you evacuated, wait for officials to declare areas safe before returning home. Flood dangers may remain after water recedes.
- Learn your homes vulnerability to flooding by determining the elevation of your property.
- Evaluate your insurance coverage; as construction increases in many areas, floodplains change. If you are in a flood area, consider what mitigation measures you can take in advance.
- In highly flood-prone areas, keep materials on hand like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, plastic garbage bags, lumber, shovels, work boots and gloves.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood, so you or your evacuation routes are not cut off.
- Assess your sump pump once a year to ensure it operates properly.
- Contact your local emergency management agency to learn how to construct proper protective measures around your home or business.
- Monitor the NOAA National Weather Service radio or website.
Nothing’s more important than your safety. When severe weather brings flooding, it’s important to take extra precautions.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- When possible, unplug and move small appliances, electronics, and lights out of the water’s reach.
- Don’t step into a flooded basement or room if water has reached electrical outlets, appliances, or cords. Energized water can shock or electrocute you.
- Don’t turn off power at the breaker box if you can’t stay dry to reach it safely. Call us at 1-800-490-0075 to shut off power at the meter.
- If your home loses power, turn off electrical equipment to prevent damage from a surge when power is restored.
- Once your power’s back, reconnect your appliances gradually to avoid overloading the circuits.
- Avoid contact with your building’s electrical system, water heater, heating system, air conditioning, or other equipment that’s been damaged by flooding. In many cases, this equipment will need to be replaced.
- Electrical wiring that’s come in contact with salt water creates the risk of electrical faults or fires. A licensed electrician can find and replace damaged wiring and possibly isolate it from unaffected areas.