The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests the following action when coastal storms or hurricanes are imminent:
- Turn off all electrical power at panel box.
- Close main gas valve.
- Move household items to the highest level you can.
- Move cardboard boxes and newspapers, as these materials disintegrate and will clog drains and vents.
- Keep a full tank of gas in your car, and do not drive through flooded areas.
- Board up windows or use masking tape to keep windows from shattering.
- Do not wade through floodwaters as you could be knocked down.
If you evacuate your home, here are some essential items you should take:
First aid supplies, supply of nonperishable food, batteries (hearing aid, flashlight), battery operated portable radio,blankets, dry clothing (especially shoes and socks), important papers, your re-entry access pass, bank, and checkbooks, valuable and cherished items, games for children, and prescription drugs.
Before a Flood: Have a safety kit with drinking water, a first aid kit, canned food, a radio, flashlight, and blankets. Know safe routes from home, work and school that are on higher ground. Protect your property. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. Make sure that your flood insurance policy is up to date.
During a Flood: If flooding occurs, go to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc. Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Roadbeds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
After a Flood: Do not turn electricity back on in your home if you detect gas or if the electrical system has been flooded. Clean and disinfect everything that was touched by floodwaters or mud flows, and throw out any affected foodstuffs. Follow directions from local officials regarding the safety of drinking water.
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