Prolonged rainfall over several days or an ice jam can cause a river or stream to overflow and flood the surrounding area.
A flash flood from a broken dam or levee or after intense rainfall of one inch (or more) per hour often catches people
Regardless, the rule for being safe is simple: head for the high ground and stay away from the water. Even a shallow
depth of fast-moving flood water produces more force than most people imagine. The most dangerous thing you can
do is to try walking, swimming, or driving through such swift water.
Still, you can take steps to prepare for these types of emergencies. Have various members of the family do each of
the items on the checklist below. Then hold a family meeting to discuss and finalize your Home Flood Plan.
____ Determine whether you’re in a flood area.
Flood area: ___Yes ___No
____ If in a flood area, is flooding covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy? (Most insurance policies specifically exclude flooding from rising water.)
Flood insurance: ___Yes___No
____ If flooding is not covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, obtain separate
Insurance company: ________________________________________________________
____ Keep current copies of all important papers or valuables in a safe-deposit box.
Location of safe-deposit box: __________________________________________________
____ Put together a Disaster Supplies Kit in a clearly labeled, easy-to-grab box.
Location of Disaster Supplies Kit: _______________________________________________
____ Write instructions on how and when to turn off your utilities—electricity, gas, and water.
Instructions written: ________________________________________________________
____ Decide where your family would go in case you must evacuate. Clear your plan with the
relatives or friends you plan to stay with—or go to a Red Cross shelter. Also, get an extra
map and mark two alternate ways to reach that destination. Add the map to your Disaster
Evacuation plan completed: ______________________________________________
And remember . . . when a flood, tornado, earthquake, fire, or other emergency happens in your community, you can
count on your local American Red Cross chapter to be there to help you and your family. Your Red Cross is not a
government agency and depends on contributions of your time, money, and blood.
For more information, contact your local Red Cross chapter, National Weather Service office, or emergency management
agency. You can also visit these Web sites:
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org
National Weather Service: www.weather.gov
Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov