29 Flooding-High Water

Prevent and Respond to Flooding

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Be ready when the waters rise.

Take a few simple steps to prevent floods around your home or business.

Before the storm

  1. Rake or sweep leaves and debris away from any drains near street corners and low areas.
  2. Dispose fallen leaves and other yard debris in compost areas, gardens or take to the landfill.
  3. Direct downspouts at least 10 feet away from your home or business and clear gutters.
  4. If you are in a flood-prone area, keep sandbags on hand and put valuables in a safe place.

Prepare for flooding

  1. Know the safest route from your home or business. Plan a spot to meet. Remember your pets.
  2. Keep a list of valuables, including personal property, in a safe location.
  3. Place lawn furniture or other items inside.
  4. Have an emergency kit:
    • Food*
    • Drinking water*
    • Medicine/first aid*
    • Pet food
    • Flashlights*
    • Radio
    • Batteries
    • Cooking equipment
    • Full tank of gas

*Keep extra in your vehicle.

When the water begins to rise

  1. Check the National Weather Service for updates in your area.
  2. Follow evacuation advisories.
  3. Watch for washed-out roads and downed power lines. Don't drive over a flooded road.

After the flood

  1. Material carried by the flood can contaminate drinking water. Use bottled water or boil well water for three to five minutes before:
    • Drinking
    • Brushing teeth
    • Washing dishes
    • Preparing food
  2. If you can't boil or buy water, use household bleach.
    • If the water is clear, use 8 drops per gallon of water.
    • If the water is cloudy, use 16 drops per gallon of water.
    • After adding the bleach to the water, wait 30 minutes to use.
  3. Flush and chlorinate your well. Use a certified laboratory to test your water for bacteria.
  4. To prevent mold growth, remove moisture where possible. Open windows and doors and warm the house.
  5. Wash your hands with soap and water. Do not use contaminated water. Use an antibacterial hand sanitizer.
  6. Wear gloves and boots to clean up. Be sure your tetanus vaccine is up-to-date. Get a booster every 10 years.


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