Be aware of the best practices for flood readiness, and the use of National Weather Service flood forecast and warning tools. Floods, big or small, can have devastating effects on your home and your family. You can take steps to reduce the harm caused by flooding. Learn how to prepare for a flood, stay safe during a flood, and protect your health when you return home after a flood.
Be SMART When it Storms
Preparing for a Flood
Learn how to prepare for a flood, including how to create a plan, supplies you’ll need, and getting your home ready.
Floodwater and standing water can be dangerous. Protect yourself and your loved ones from risks brought on by floods.
Returning home after a flood? Be aware that your home may be contaminated with mold or sewage. Take steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
- Gather emergency supplies and follow local radio or TV updates.
- Unplug appliances to prevent electrical shock when power comes back on.
- Do NOT drive or walk across flooded roads. Cars and people can be swept away.
- When power lines are down, water is in your home, or before you evacuate, TURN OFF gas, power, and water.
- Tie down or bring outdoor items inside.
- Recognize Flood Risk
- Identify flood-prone or landslide-prone areas near you.
- Know your community’s warning signals, evacuation routes, and emergency shelter locations.
- Know flood evacuation routes near you.
- Throw away items that cannot be disinfected, like wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall.
- Use fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers for drying.
- For cleanup, wear rubber boots and plastic gloves.
- Clean walls, hard floors, and other surfaces with soap and water. Use a mixture of 1 cup bleach and 1-gallon water to disinfect.
- Caution! Flood water may contain trash.
- Practice Safe Hygiene
- Wash hands with soap and water to help prevent germs.
- Listen for information from your local officials on how to safely use water to drink, cook, or clean.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
Never drive through flooded areas. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Have a Plan, Know the Impacts, Know More than the Hurricane Path, Get Prepared and Help Your Community
Get your home ready for a flood
- Make sure you secure or protect any hazards in your home before the flood strikes.
- Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.
- Buy a fire extinguisher if you do not already have one. Make sure your family knows where it is and how to use it.
- Buy and install sump pumps with back-up power.
- Have a licensed electrician raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12″ above your home’s projected flood elevation.
- For drains, toilets, and other sewer connections, install backflow valves or plugs to prevent floodwaters from entering.
- Anchor fuel tanks which can contaminate your basement if torn free. An unanchored tank outside can be swept downstream and damage other houses.
Video: Flood Smart DIY in 5 Steps
Tornado | Rain and Floods | Earthquakes | Lightning | Volcanoes | Winter Storm
EPAP for Patients - phe.gov
The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program, or EPAP, helps people in a federally-identified disaster area who do not have health insurance get the prescription drugs, vaccinations, medical supplies, and equipment that they need. This program helps people and communities better cope with a disaster and reduces stress on the healthcare system.
People who are eligible for EPAP can file a claim at more than 72,000 retail pharmacies across the United States and its territories for prescription items that were lost, stolen, or destroyed because of a disaster.
If you have questions about using EPAP during a disaster, call the EPAP Hotline at 1-855-793-7470.
Extra Measures for People with Special Needs
- Write down your specific needs, limitations, capabilities, and medications. Keep this list near you always–perhaps in your purse or wallet.
- Find someone nearby (a spouse, roommate, friend, neighbor, relative, or co-worker) who will agree to assist you in case of an emergency. Give him or her a copy of your list. You may also want to provide a spare key to your home, or directions to find a key.
- Keep aware of weather conditions through whatever means are accessible to you. Some options are closed captioning or scrolled warnings on TV, radio bulletins, or call-in weather information lines.
Disaster Safety Plans
Download Emergency Preparedness Checklist
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
Checklist on Emergency Preparedness
Additional Emergency Supplies
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lenses solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
- Replace expired items as needed
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
- Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
- Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
- Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
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Seven animal heroes called the "Danger Rangers," their robot Fallbot, and their artificial intelligence called SAVO teach children about safety through examples, such as environmental hazards and unsafe places.