Preparing for a flash flood

February 9, 2017

What you should do before a flash flood:

  • Build an emergency preparedness kit and make a family communications plan
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
  • Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home
  • Construct barriers, if possible, to stop flood water from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds
  • Turn on your TV or radio to receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions
  • Consider buying flood insurance and learn your flood risk

What you should do during a flash flood:

  • Move to higher ground immediately
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches if instructed as this helps prevent fires and explosions
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances, but do NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water or you may be electrocuted
  • Bring in outdoor furniture if time permits
  • Move essential items to higher ground or an upper floor

If you have to leave your home:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can cause you to fall. If you must walk in water, walk through areas where the water is still. It is a good idea to use a stick to check the firmness of the ground before you before proceeding in that direction since mud and rock slides are very common
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. Abandon you car if floodwaters begin to rise around it and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. The rising waters can easily sweep away you and your vehicle
  • Do not camp of park your vehicle along bodies of waters. You or your vehicle may slide into the body of water since rock and mud slides are very common. In addition, the rising waters near bodies of water such as streams, rivers or creeks may raise above the waterbank and can sweep you or your vehicle away.

What you should do after a flood:

  • Return home only when authorities give an all clear that it is safe to do so
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded
  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch our for debris; floodwaters often erode roads and walkways
  • Photograph any damage to your property for insurance purposes
  • Call us at 415-386-2283 or make a claim on our website for any damage that may have occurred.

Contributor: Smruthi Sriram
Reference: Ready (Department of Homeland Security)