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National Preparedness Month – Flooding Safety

Emergency App
Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.

National Preparedness Month is a good time to get ready for emergencies and the American Red Cross asks everyone to make their disaster plans now to ensure their household is ready when emergencies happen.

The overall theme of National Preparedness Month this year is “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.” The campaign also features a weekly disaster focus and the spotlight this week is on floods. The Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe if flooding impacts their community.

FLOOD SAFETY Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturate the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Other safety steps include:

  • Head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • 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.
  • Keep children out of the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.
  • Even businesses aren’t immune to flood hazards. Studies show that between 15 percent to 40 percent of businesses fail following a natural or man-made disaster. The Red Cross Ready Rating program can help you avoid that potential by helping your small business or organization measure how ready it is to deal with emergencies. The program then gives customized feedback on how to improve preparedness efforts. Get more information during a free webinar put on by SCORE Association and the Red Cross September 10 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

    DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY The all-inclusive Emergency app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

    Some of the many features of the app include:

  • The emergency alerts are available for the user’s location and to monitor where friends and family live.
  • Users can turn alerts on and off to fit their situation.
  • A single map provides shelter locations and weather information.
  • Users can easily toggle between English and Spanish.
  • Information is included on emergency first aid for situations such as heat-related emergencies and water safety for lakes and beaches.
  • The app covers what to do in emergencies that affect a large area, such as mudslides and snow storms.
  • Pre-loaded content ensures guidance from Red Cross experts is available even without mobile connectivity.
  • The home fires section provides information on how to prevent fires, protect loved ones and what to do after a fire occurs.
  • The make-a-plan feature helps households draw up their individual disaster plans.
  • “Family Safe” is another unique feature that allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay, even if that person hasn’t downloaded the Emergency App. Using “Family Safe,” the user can send someone a message and their response of either “I’m safe” or “I’m not safe” will come to the user. If they are not safe, the user can call them or see their location on a map. The app also has an “I’m Safe” button which allows users to let loved ones know they are out of harm’s way.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.