Pack your emergency kit. Include a gallon of water per person, per day – 3 days for evacuation, 2-week supply for home. Also pack a 3-day supply of non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery or hand crank radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, medications, sanitation and personal hygiene items, cell phone with charger, family and emergency contact information, extra cash, a map of the area and items for babies, anyone with special needs and your pets.
Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do if a flood watch or warning is issued.
Get access to NOAA radio broadcasts.
Keep insurance policies, valuables and other important documents in a safe deposit box or a safe place not likely to be damaged in a flood. Take pictures and keep copies of important documents and files on a flash drive that you can carry with you.
Know the difference between a watch and warning. A watch means that a flood or flash flood is possible in your area, while a warning means that flooding/flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
Be prepared to evacuate quickly if directed and know your routes and destinations. If someone needs to find a shelter they can visit redcross.org/shelter.
Check emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply. Keep it nearby.
During a Flood
Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Evacuate if directed. Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage.
Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
Avoid already flooded areas and areas that are subject to sudden flooding such as dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc. Stay away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
Do not attempt to cross flowing streams or water covered roads.
If caught in a flash flood, try to get to higher ground and stay there. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
Turn around and find another route if you come upon floodwater, rapidly rising water or barricades.
Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water. It may be contaminated with sewage.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts, open shelters and expert advice on emergency situations. The Emergency App includes an “I’m Safe” feature that helps people check on loved ones. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores, or go to redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.