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.
Flood Preparedness Tips
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.