Getting Ready for Floods

We’ve all seen the tragic news about the flooding in Texas and on the Plains. More than 20 people have lost their lives in the state and in Oklahoma since last weekend with others missing and many homes and businesses across the area destroyed.

Floods can happen anywhere and at times we don’t expect. We all need to know how to prepare. With a little effort, we can all be ready for floods.
Photo: Bob McMillan // FEMA Photo

Getting ready starts before the first drop of rain. Floods can happen even if they haven’t hit your area before, according to Check with your city or town to see if there is a plan in place in case of floods.

When there is a risk of a flood, it’s always important to listen to authorities. Make sure to have a battery-powered radio to listen for updates in case you lose power. Local leaders will keep you posted with the news. They’ll also let you know if you need to head to higher ground or if you should stay put.

Floods can contaminate your tap water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that flood waters can carry dangerous chemicals and bacteria, so make sure you have plenty of clean, safe bottled water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends having at least a three-day supply of food and water for your entire house.

Have an emergency stockpile for home stored somewhere it will be safe if waters rise. Keep a bag full of supplies such as flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, medications and non-perishable food, in case you have to leave quickly. If you have canned food, make sure to include a manual can opener.
Photo: Bob McMillan // FEMA Photo

After the flood, make sure your house is safe before going back in. Watch out for mosquitoes that live near standing water. Talk to your family or a friend if you feel stressed or anxious.

Floods are scary, but with the right preparation we can all stay safe. For more ways to prepare, check out our floods fact sheet on the Get Ready campaign website.

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