Planning ahead for flooding will protect you and your family, your property, your finances and provide piece of mind, especially true if you live in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated flood zone.
Facts About Flooding
- Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off your feet, so don't walk through flooded areas.
- Flooded streets may hide areas of washed out streets, so use caution as water may be deeper than it looks.
- Vehicles can be swept away in just two feet of moving water, so don't drive through flooded areas. If your car stalls, abandon it and move to higher ground. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else during flooding.
- Flash flood waters can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges.
- Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is a major source of deaths in floods.
Preparing for a Flood
- Keep up with the latest flood information by listening to local radio or TV stations.
- See Types of Emergencies from the this American Red Cross to help prepare for a disaster.
- Check with the Minnesota Red Cross for official warning and evacuation procedures.
When Flooding Occurs, Follow this Advice from FEMA
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- If there is time, shut off utilities at the main switches, move furniture and valuables to a higher floor.
- If water start to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, move to a higher second floor or an attic, and if necessary, the roof.
- Take personal necessities, such as medications, eyeglasses, dry clothing, a flashlight, and a portable radio with you. Then, wait for help.
- Don't try to swim to safety; wait for rescuers to come to you.
- If outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there.
More information can be found at the FEMA website.
After the Flood
- Use caution when entering a home that has flooded.
- Do not enter a flooded area of a home until the electricity has been turned off.
- It may be unsafe to enter a flooded basement, even after water has receded. Consider having your home inspected by a structural engineer, a licensed electrician and a licensed plumber.
- Check your ceilings for signs of sagging. Ceiling boards are heavy, and can be dangerous if they fall.
- Report any animal carcasses, rats, dangerous chemicals or hazardous materials on your property to the health department.
Things to have when you return to your home
- Smartphone / Camera
- First-aid kit
- Battery operated radio
- Waterproof boots or waders
- Safety clothing (hard hat & gloves)
- Dust mask
- Tools (crowbar, saw, pliers)
- Drinking water
- Trash bags
- Cleaning supplies
The British Columbia government has information about "Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery"
FEMA has a kid-friendly website called Ready, containing information for kids on how to prepare for a flood.
Disclaimer: The information on this page is merely a summary of flood safety information. For more complete information, follow the provided links to other websites.
Last updated Feb 11, 2019