Stay informed - NOAA Weather Radio, the NOAA website, or local TV or radio stations will issue flood warnings and reports from the National Weather service. If a flood warning is issued for your area, be prepared to evacuate right away and move to higher ground.

Protect emergency food and water

  • Basements are excellent for emergency food storage because of their low, constant temperatures. Ensure that food is elevated enough to stay dry. Better yet, temporarily move your supply to the highest level of the house.
  • Keep a supply of bottled water or keep a Katadyn water filter nearby. Do not use the water from a well until it has been tested and deemed safe.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables and prepare baby formula with safe water.
  • Don't eat anything that's come in contact with floodwater.
  • Throw out food that is not in waterproof containers (screw caps, pull tops and crimped caps are not waterproof).
  • Food in metal cans and flexible metal or plastic pouches can be cleaned by removing labels and sanitizing containers before opening.
  • Thoroughly sanitize food prep pans, countertops, dishes and utensils with hot soap and water or a bleach solution.

Return carefully

  • Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
  • Before entering your home, check for loose power lines and damaged gas lines. If you see or hear either one, leave immediately.
  • As you enter, be aware that wild animals, especially poisonous snakes can seek shelter in flooded houses.
  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.

As illustrated by recent events, even if you're not in a designated flood plain you may be at risk for high water damage in extreme weather conditions. Take some time to assemble a kit and familiarize yourself with basic safety information. Be alert. Be prepared.
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