It is best to be prepared for the possibility of flooding whether you are in a special flood hazard area or not. Flood warnings are forecasts of impending floods, and are distributed to the public by radio and television and through local government forces. Flash flood warnings are the most urgent type of flood warning issued. Knowing what to do in the event of a flood can help reduce property loss and ensure personal safety.
In flooding emergencies make sure to have easy access to a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, lights and flashlights. Always keep first aid and critical medical supplies at hand.
If a flood warning is posted and you are advised to leave your home, move immediately to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water. Cut off all electric circuits at the fuse panel or disconnect switch. If this is not possible, turn off or disconnect all electrical appliances. Shut off the water service and gas valves in your home.
During a Flood
During a flood avoid areas subject to sudden flooding. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream where water is above your knees. Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. You can be stranded and trapped. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Many people drown while trying to rescue their car.
After a Flood
After a flood do not use fresh food that has come in contact with flood waters. Test drinking water for potability. Wells should be pumped out and the water re-tested before drinking. Do not visit disaster areas; your presence will probably hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas; electrical equipment should be checked and dried before returning to service. Use flashlights, not lanterns or torches, to examine buildings; flammables may be inside. Report broken utility lines to police, fire, or other appropriate authorities.