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Blog Articles: Flood Safety

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What Should You Do Before a Flood?

Prepare in Advance

Be sure you're Red Cross Ready. That means:

How to Prepare Before a Flood

Protecting Your Family

Protecting Your Pets & Animals

Protecting Your Home

Remember: standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at



Fill your sinks and bathtubs for drinking water in case flooding water interrupts or contaminates the public water supply.


Water stored in bathtubs and sinks should never be used for drinking or for bathing young children because lead can leak from the glaze in bathtubs and sinks into water stored in them. However, you can use water stored in bathtubs and sinks for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing.

Right Before a Flood

  • Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio, or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Keep it nearby.

Then, If You Can, Do This

If You Still Have Time, Do This

If You Have Pets or Livestock

Download the Flood Safety Checklist

Red Cross checklists are available in multiple languages

Get Preparation Tips for the Whole Family

What Should You Do During a Flood?

Remember: Turn Around, Don't Drown!

How to Stay Safe Indoors
  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
  • Boil tap water until water sources have been declared safe.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio, or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.
  • Dispose of any food that comes into contact with flood water.
How to Stay Safe Outdoors
  • Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
  • If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Don't walk on beaches or riverbanks.
  • Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.

When a flood occurs, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and comfort.



If you have a truck or SUV, it’s okay to drive across rushing flood water.


Just two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks. Never try to drive across rushing flood water.

How Can You Stay Safe After a Flood?
After a Flood:
  • If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

Caring For Yourself & Loved Ones

Returning Home Safely

Cleaning and Repairing Your Home

Ask a Professional to



 You will never be able to buy flood insurance if your property has been flooded in the past.


 You are still eligible to purchase flood insurance after your property has flooded, provided your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Check with your local emergency management office for more information.

Information from: The American National Red Cross

2023-01-25 14:56:52