Rain Pummels Areas of U.S., Beware of Flood Risks

Flooded Houses
Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

As rain falls in Midwestern and Atlantic Coast states, the American Red Cross urges people to be prepared for potential flooding. On Thursday, the Red Cross opened shelters in Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio and North Carolina, to support those in the path of the floods.

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

People should stay tuned to local radio and television stations for possible flood warnings, reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service.

Follow these Red Cross tips to prepare for floods:

  • 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 and pets 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 dangers.
  • You can get better prepared for emergencies with help from the Red Cross. An easy way to start is to download any of the Red Cross free disaster-specific mobile apps, such as the Tornado, Hurricane and First Aid apps—to get lifesaving preparedness information in the palm of your hand before and during emergencies.

    Red Cross apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps

    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.

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