It's raining. Even though the storm doesn't seem too bad, the man on the weather channel is warning you to prepare for rising water levels and to evacuate if necessary. You think to yourself, "I've never been flooded before, I'm sure nothing will actually happen." Then, you look over to your front door and water is seeping inside, with the level rising quickly.
What do you do?
Flooding is the #1 Presidentially Declared Disaster in the United States. Anything from a few hours of rain to a storm surge caused by a massive hurricane can cause water levels to rise, flooding your home, business, and local roads. Flooding limits the availability of emergency responders, and sometimes leaves citizens homeless or stranded without any way to escape. Even a foot of water can disable your vehicle. Don't fall victim to the flood waters, prepare yourself.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for this situation:
Put together a "Go Bag." This bag should contain anything you might need to survive on your own for at least 3 days. Included within the bag should be nonperishable food, drinking water, an emergency battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio, first aid kit, a local map, a flashlight, batteries, and more. For more information on building a bag, click here.
Find out if you live in a flood zone. Flood zones are pre-mapped areas that will tell you how likely it is that your home, business, or other location is to flood during a storm. Flood zone maps can be found on FEMA's website by clicking here. Flood maps are also created at a county and city level, and can be accessed through their respective websites.
EVACUATE! If your location is within a flood zone that is expected to flood, leave! Do not risk staying in an area that you know will flood.
Turn Around, Don't Drown! ® Do not attempt to drive through flood waters. Many times, the water is deeper than it looks, and can cause massive damage to your vehicle, as well as stranding you out in the water and putting your life in danger.
For more safety tips about flooding, visit Ready.gov's Floods Page