Flood Safety Tips


  • Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; 6 inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Don't drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
  • Do not drink or eat, even after boiling, anything that may have come in contact with floodwater. Floodwater is a breeding medium for bacteria and contains human, animal and industrial wastes. Remember that your tap water, whether it comes from a well or a public water source, is contaminated after a flood.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after the drowning is electrocution. Electric current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to the local power company
  • Have your electricity turned off by the power company. Some appliances, such as television sets, keep electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned, and dried.
  • Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or a stick to poke and turn things over and scare away small animals.
  • Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery. Even roads may be weak.
  • Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.