WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (June 4, 2020) – Since last night, the Palm Beach & Treasure Coast Chapter of American Red Cross has responded to severe floods impacting neighborhoods in Martin County.
The Red Cross is working alongside the Martin County Emergency Management to ensure the safety of the community and provide support to individuals that may be impacted by the continuous rainfall and flooding in the days to come.
As severe thunderstorms continue to impact Martin County and threaten nearby neighborhoods with potential flooding, the Red Cross is standing by to assist families impacted and monitor the evolving situation.
The Red Cross urges people who may be impacted to follow these safety steps:
Get Ready for Flooding
- 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.
- Ensure everyone carries a Safe and Well wallet card.
- 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.
- Don’t forget your pets. Prepare a pet emergency kit for your companion animals.
Right Before a Flood
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
- Boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe.
- 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.
- Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded until after they have been checked for safety.
- Dispose of any food that has come into contact with flood water.
- 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.
- The National Weather Service reports that nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related. 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.
After a Flood
- If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
For more information on flood safety, including a flood safety checklist in several languages, visit redcross.org/Flood.
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/SouthFlorida or call 1-800 RED CROSS.
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/southflorida or visit us on Facebook and Twitter at @SFLRedCross.
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