As historic and unprecedented flooding hits the southeastern United States, the American Red Cross has tips to help people stay safe as the water rises and as families return to flooded homes. More information about the Red Cross response to severe weather on the East Coast is available on redcross.org.
If you’re caught in a flooded area, would you know what to do?
If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Some safety steps to remember include:
1. Head for higher ground and stay there.
2. Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
3. Turn around, don’t drown. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
4. Keep children out of the water.
5. Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.
FLOOD RECOVERY TIPS
1. Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
2. Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
3. Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
4. During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
5. Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of hurricanes and flooding, as well as locations of shelters. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. Parents can also download the Red Cross Monster Guard App for a fun way to teach children what to do in case of a flood or a hurricane.
HOW TO HELP
People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.