Family Protection Program: Flood Safety Tips and Recovery


Flash floods move at incredible speeds. They can roll boulders, tear down trees, and destroy buildings and bridges. When a flash flood warning is issued for your area or the moment you first realize a flash flood is imminent, act quickly to get out of the area subject of flooding.

  • Keep materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand.
  • Install check valves in sewer traps to prevent water from backing up sewers.
  • Keep first aid supplies on hand.
  • Keep your vehicle fueled. If electricity is cut off, gas stations may not operate for several days.
  • Stock foods that require little cooking and no refrigeration. Electric power may be interrupted.
  • Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, and flashlights in working condition.


  • Store various containers of drinking water in clean bathtubs. Water service may be interrupted.
  • If you are forced to leave your home and time permits, remove essential items to safe ground. Fill tanks to keep them from floating away and grease immobile machinery.


  • Listen to the local radio stations WKRS 1220 AM or WKRS 102.3 FM for further details of the flooding situation.
  • When you have to enter buildings use extreme caution.
  • Look for fire hazards.
  • Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters.
  • Test drinking water for potability. Wells should be pumped out and water tested before drinking.
  • Seek necessary medical care at a hospital. Food, shelter, and clothing are available at Red Cross shelters.
  • Do not visit disaster areas as it may hamper emergency operations.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas.
  • Use flashlights, not lanterns or torches, to examine buildings.
  • Pump out flooded basements gradually (one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage.