Emergency Preparedness: Flash Floods and Flooding
Be aware of the dangers of flash floods and flooding that often follow heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams, and never drive through flooded roadways. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and move to higher ground. Be especially cautious at night when it is more difficult to recognize flood dangers.
Flooding Safety Tips
- Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Before floodwater enters your home, be sure to turn off your main circuit breaker.
- If the water has risen above the electrical outlets in your home, the potential for electrical fire hazards greatly increases. Contact a licensed electrician before turning on your main circuit breaker or trying to restore power.
- Once submerged in water, it’s necessary to allow all electrical appliances and electronic equipment to dry thoroughly for a minimum of one week; then have them checked by a qualified repair technician before turning them on. Attempting to repair a flood-damaged appliance could result in electrical shock or death.
- If the outside unit of your air-conditioning system has been under water, mud may have accumulated in the controls. Attempting to restart could result in further damage and costly repairs. Have your unit checked by a qualified air-conditioning technician.
- With the circuit breaker off and all appliances disconnected, plug in one floor lamp. Reset the breaker and check other outlets one at a time. If the breaker trips when you reset it, call an electrician before proceeding.
- If you go outdoors, stay away from low-hanging or downed power lines and report them immediately. Contact with a low or fallen power line can seriously injure a person or result in death.
- Unplug all major appliances and place the air-conditioning thermostat in the “off” position. When power is restored, your appliances can draw three to four times the electrical current they normally use.
- Food inside a freezer will remain frozen up to 36 hours if the door is closed. Wrapping your refrigerator or freezer in blankets will help insulate it.
- Keep a small lamp plugged in and turned on so you’ll know when the power is restored.
- Once service has been restored, first plug in your appliances, then return the air-conditioning thermostat to the “on” position.
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In the event of an emergency, call 911.
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