According to the American Red Cross, floods are the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Flash Floods and other floods can occur very quickly and are seriously dangerous.
1) Be prepared to evacuate and know your evacuation route. Plan ahead for some roads or bridges to be inaccessible or washed out during a flood.
2) Listen to NOAA weather reports on your weather radio. If possible monitor local broadcast TV or Radio stations for updates.
3) If you fear a Flash Flood may occur, move to higher ground and stay there. Don’t venture back into floodwaters or flooded areas.
4) Do not drive through standing or moving flood water. Cars can easily be disabled or swept away. If you drive into water and get stranded try to remain calm and use common sense. If you can safely get out of your car without being swept away in floodwater, get out and get to higher ground quickly. You have to decide if it's safer to remain with the vehicle and wait for help or try to get to higher ground. Make that decision after you have weighed the risks for each situation and then act quickly.
5) If you are trapped in your home, move to the highest floor and near an outside window to signal for help. If at all possible, turn off the natural gas, water, and electrical circuit breakers before flooding begins .
6) Be careful of polluted and/or sewer contaminated standing water during and after flooding. Harmful bacteria and other dangerous chemicals may be present in the flood water. Use extreme caution and avoid unnecessary exposure to yourself and family members.
7) Be especially careful to watch your children. They may not understand the dangerous situation they are in and how easily they could become seriously injured.
8) Keep pets away from flood water and do not let them drink potentially contaminated water.
9) Do not use food items, even most packaged food items that have come into contact with flood waters. After a flood, carefully disinfect any useable items you can salvage. If there has been sewer contamination or other harmful material in the floodwater, its best to throw out anything that may have been contaminated. All silverware, dishware, and the like must be thoroughly washed and disinfected prior to any use.
10) Consider speaking with your insurance representative about Flood Insurance. If it is available, consider adding it to your homeowners coverage.
11) Flash Floods can be even more dangerous than other flooding depending on where you are located. If one occurs and you happen to be in a canyon, low-lying area, or ravine, move to higher ground immediately. The force of rushing water moving downhill can be very powerful and can carry with it rocks, boulders, trees, and earth.