Is Your Community Prepared?
The use of sandbags is a simple, but effective, way to prevent or reduce flood water damage. Properly filled and placed, sandbags can act as a barrier to divert moving water around instead of through buildings. Sandbag construction does not guarantee a water-tight seal, but is satisfactory for use in most situations. Sandbags are also used successfully to prevent over topping of leveed streams and for training current flow to specific areas.
Watch local and state wide weather newscast to describe flooding conditions, which will be broadcast on radio and television.
- Flood forecasts means rainfall is heavy enough to cause rivers to overflow their banks or melting snow is mixing with rainfall to produce similar effects.
- Flood warnings or forecasts of impending floods describe the affected river, lake or tidewater, the severity of flooding will begin.
- Flash flood watches mean heavy rains (that may cause sudden flash flooding in specified areas) are occurring or expected to occur. Understand that a flash flood can occur without any visible sign of rainfall in your area. Be alert to a possible emergency which will require immediate action.
- Flash flood warnings mean flash flooding is occurring or imminent along certain streams and designated areas. Move to high ground immediately.
Also contact your local emergency management, civil defense or disaster preparedness office to learn local warning signals: know who will issue the warnings, when, how and under what circumstances they will be given and how you should respond.
1. Keep a sufficient amount of food that requires no cooking or refrigeration. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers. Electric power, gas and water services may be disrupted.
2. Keep a portable, battery-operated radio and flashlights in working order; stock extra batteries. Have first aid supplies and any medicines your family may need.
3. Find out if you live in a flood-prone area and what the average flood depths in your community are.
You may need to store materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber to protect your house from flood waters and to make quick repairs after a severe storm.
- Contact your insurance agent, community planner or local emergency manager for information.
1. Identify dams in your area. Be aware of what could happen if they fail. Become familiar with local emergency action plans.
2. Learn your community’s flood evacuation routes and where to find high ground. In a flash flood you may need to seek high ground on foot quickly.
3. Know the elevation of your property in relation to nearby streams and dams so that you will know if the flood elevations forecasted will affect your home and property. Call you local emergency management office for help.
4. Contact your insurance agent or local government to discuss flood insurance coverage. Flood losses are not covered under homeowners’ insurance policies. Flood insurance is available in most communities through the National Flood Insurance Program. Get coverage now – there is a waiting period, usually five days, before it takes effect.