How Can I Stay Safe in a Flood?

The following common sense guidelines can help you avoid the dangers of flooding. When a flood occurs, stay safe! Keep these points in mind:

  • Do not walk through flowing water. Currents can be deceptive. Six inches of water can knock you off your feet.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in cars than anywhere else. A mere 2 feet of water can float a car. Don't drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Turn off the power at the service box to your home if it is about to be flooded.
  • Keep children & pets away from flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains and detention basins. Flood waters can carry fecal bacteria and dislodged items from buildings or yards. Culverts & storm sewers can suck smaller people and pets into them.
  • Be alert for gas leaks. Turn off the gas to your home before it floods. If you smell gas, alert the gas company. Do not use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.
  • Do not use gas generators or charcoal fires indoors. Carbon monoxide exhaust can be deadly.
  • Look out for animals. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours.
  • Clean everything that has been wet. Flood water will be contaminated with sewage and other chemicals which pose severe health hazards.

Before-During-After a Flood