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Before Event During Event After Event Resources

During the Event

If Flooding Begins

  • Gather emergency supplies you previously stocked in your home and stay tuned to local radio or television station for updates.
  • Have your immunization records handy or be aware of your last tetanus shot, in case you receive a puncture wound or a wound becomes contaminated during or after the flood.
  • Use telephones for life-threatening emergencies only. Text on your cell phone, if needed. Let a family member or friend know if you need to evacuate.
  • Evacuate, if necessary, and follow instructions from local public safety officials. Follow designated evacuation routes and expect heavy traffic.
  • Take your pets with you. Remember, pets (other than assistance animals for people with disabilities) are not permitted in most shelters.
  • Don't forget to lock your home.
  • If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.
  • Do not walk or drive through flooded areas.
  • Stay off bridges covered by water.
  • Heed barricades blocking roads.
  • Keep away from waterways during heavy rains.
  • Keep out of storm drains and irrigation ditches.
  • Watch out for animals who’ve lost their homes during a flood. Animals may seek shelter in your home and aggressively defend themselves.
  • If water starts to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, the attic or, if necessary, the roof.

Driving Precautions

Take extra precautions if you're forced to drive through water. Seek other routes. If no other route exists and you have no alternative but to drive through standing water:

  • Estimate the depth of the water (if other cars are driving through, take note of how deep the water is).
  • Drive slowly and steadily through the water.
  • Avoid driving in water with downed power lines — electric current passes through water easily.
  • Watch for items traveling downstream — they can trap or crush you if you are in their path.
  • After driving through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.
  • If your vehicle stalls in deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine.
  • If you can't restart your vehicle and you become surrounded by rising water, immediately abandon your vehicle for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. Call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.

Updated May 2017