You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Montana Red Cross Offers Flood Safety Tips

Red Cross volunteer assesses flood damage
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters and they are highly unpredictable

Great Falls, MT, August 8, 2016—Heavy rain resulted in flash flooding in Great Falls yesterday. Montana Red Cross offers safety tips for Great falls residents who were impacted by flash flooding yesterday.

“Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters and they are highly unpredictable” said Diane Wright, Executive Director of Montana Red Cross. “We want Great Falls residents to be aware of possible safety issues following a flood.”

Safety after a Flood

  • 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.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • 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 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!
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
  • Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.
  • 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.
  • Red Cross Apps

    Download the free Red Cross Flood App or Emergency App at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps.

    Donate

    You can help people affected by disasters like home fires, as well as countless other crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to the American Red Cross. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. To make a donation, please go to redcross.org/montana or call 1-800-272-6668. Contributions may also be sent to American Red Cross of Montana, 1300 28th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405.

    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.