Red Cross Flooding Update
LANSING Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — As spring approaches, warmer temperatures bring relief from the bitter cold Michigan has experienced this winter. The warmer temperatures also bring the threat of floods as the massive amounts of snow rapidly melt. Prepare for the rising water levels with these tips.
• Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)
• Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
• When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, 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. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
• 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. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
• Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
• Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
• Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
• Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
• If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
• If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
• 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. • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
• Make sure your food and water is 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!
Let Your Family Know you’re Safe
If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well web site to let your family and friends know about your welfare. You may also call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.
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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.