When forming your flood safety plan, it’s important to know where to go in order to ensure your family’s safety. If your children are in school, know what to do should a flood occur during school hours. Come up with a designated meeting place for you and your children. Make arrangements with a family member or friend in a nearby town so you have a place to stay, and don’t forget to include your pets in your flood safety plans. Knowing where to go and what to do when a flood occurs is the most critical part of your flood safety agenda – prepare yourself today so you can remain safe.
Have an emergency plan. Create an easy to follow emergency flood plan so your family (and pets) can quickly evacuate your home or other at-risk area. Don’t stay around to collect your belongings – grab your flood preparedness kit, gather your family and pets, and leave the area immediately.
Get to higher ground. In your emergency plan, you should note where higher ground is. Your best chance of avoiding flood waters is to get to the highest ground in your area, via the safest route possible. Make note of several route options in case one or more become inaccessible.
Notify your emergency contact. It’s a great idea to notify a close friend or family member should you need to evacuate your home in case of a flood. Tell them you are leaving your home and where you plan on going. Let them know you and your family are safe.
Avoid underpasses. Because these are lower ground, they will likely flood first. The water in the underpass might look shallow, but your car could easily get stuck and become overwhelmed by water that has pooled there. Avoid underpasses whenever possible.
Avoid flooded areas. Do not, under any circumstances, drive through a flooded area – especially if the water is moving quickly. You might think that your car is heavy and can withstand the current, but less than two feet of water can sweep a car away. Just six inches of water can whisk a person away. Be sure to keep your elderly, children, and pets clear of flood waters.
Avoid bridges. Bridges can become easily weakened by flood waters, making them prone to collapsing. With the added weight of a vehicle (or a few), a bridge is no longer stable during a flood.
Abandon your car if needed. If your car becomes suddenly surrounded by flood water, it will likely stall. If this happens, don’t hesitate – abandon the vehicle and get you and your passengers to safety.