With more rain in the forecast for this week and the rising Choctawhatchee River, the American Red Cross urges residents to practice safe measures before, during and after heavy rainfall and the flooding that can accompany a storm.
Know What to Expect
Know your area's flood risk--if unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.
Reduce Potential Flood Reduce Potential Damage By . . .
Raising your furnace, water heater, and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
Consult with a professional for further information if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken.
Floods Can Take Several Hours to Days to Develop
A flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area.
A flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
Flash Floods Can Take Only a Few Minutes to a Few Hours to Develop
A flash flood WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area.
A flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon
Prepare a Family Disaster Plan
Check to see if you have insurance that covers flooding. If not, find out how to get flood insurance.
-Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.
-First aid kit and essential medications.
-Canned food and can opener.
-At least three gallons of water per person
-Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
-Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
-Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
-Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on.)
Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places . . . a friend's home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.
When a Flood WATCH Is Issued . . .
-Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
-Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
When a Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .
Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
When a Flash Flood WATCH Is Issued . . .
Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment's notice.
When a Flash Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .
Or if you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!
-Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades . . . they are there for your safety.
-If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
Let your family know you're safe. If your community experiences a storm with flooding conditions, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website available through www.RedCross.org to let your family know about your welfare. If you don't have internet access, call 1-866-GET INFO to register yourself and your family.