Safety during a flooding situation has to be your top priority. You’ll want to do all you can to protect your property, but things can always be replaced. Don’t jeopardize your own or your family’s safety by waiting too long to evacuate and being trapped. We hope these safety tips will be useful.
The National Weather Service issues three types of flood warnings:
- Advisory: There’s a potential flooding problem, stay tuned for more information.
- Watch: Prepare now for a possible evacuation.
- Warning: Take action! If the floodwaters haven’t reached you yet, they will shortly. Get to higher ground immediately.
Before the Flood
What you do in advance of an emergency is critical. Here are a few tips on how to prepare.
- Name a person who won’t be affected by the emergency to serve as the primary contact and name a meeting place in the event the family becomes separated.
- Put together an emergency kit. Even if you have one, make sure no items are missing or need replacing.
- Know your evacuation route. If possible, plan two evacuation routes.
- Register with the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service for RSS feeds of forecasts and other vital information.
- Listen to your weather radio.
- Get the family and pets ready to leave. Pack essential items, medications, food and water for humans and pets and vital documents: insurance policies, financial statements, must-have pictures and whatever you consider extremely important.
- Charge phones and other electronics you’re bringing with you. Don’t forget to bring your chargers with you.
Prepare Your Home
- Filling sandbags is time-consuming but can offer valuable protection.
- Turn off all utilities before leaving.
- Installing check-valves in your plumbing ahead of time can prevent water from backing up into your drains.
- Ensure your sump pump works and consider a second pump.
- Raise everything possible.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown
Driving through water is dangerous and never recommended, but in an emergency, you might have no alternative.
Don’t Ignore Barricades
The barricades were placed there for a reason. In the best case, you’d lose precious time when you reached the reason for the barricades, such as an impassable washout, and had to turn around. In the worst case, everyone in the car could suddenly be in a deadly situation.
Standing Water is Treacherous
Take another route if the street is flooded. You don’t know how deep the water is, but only 12 inches of moving water could sweep your car away.
If You Must Drive Through Water
- Never drive through water if you spot downed power lines – water and electricity are a deadly combination.
- Try to figure out how deep the water is. Other cars could serve as a guide.
- Don’t speed or stop, drive slowly and steadily.
- Keep a constant watch for anything floating downstream that could smash into your car or trap you.
- Your engine could stall. You may need to try to start it again, but the engine could be irreparably damaged.
- After driving through water, test your brakes as soon as you’re on dry road while driving slowly. If the car won’t stop as it should, you can try drying your wet brakes by pressing lightly on the brake pedal while maintaining your speed.
- If the water is rising, your car won’t start and you’re trapped, leave it immediately to reach higher ground. You may need to leave through the window. Call 911 and try to get the attention of anyone nearby.
Review Your Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t protect you against water damage. You need a separate policy. In the past, federal policies were often the only option, but Neptune is a private insurance company backed by one of the world’s largest markets. The use of advanced technology combined with insurance know-how can save you money on the coverage you need. Federal policies have a 30-day waiting period, but Neptune only has a 10-day waiting period. Contact Neptune today and buy flood insurance in 3 minutes.