Senator Gil Riviere
When a flash flood WARNING is issued for your area, or the moment you realize that a flash flood is imminent, act quickly to save yourself and your family.
• Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, washes, etc.
• Avoid already flooded and high-velocity flow areas. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
• If driving, be aware that the roadbed may not be intact under floodwaters. Turn around and go another way. Remember, turn around, don’t drown!
• If your vehicle stalls, assess whether you should leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants and sweep them away.
• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
• Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
• If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Move to a safe area before access is cut off by floodwater.
• Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, television, radio or official social media for emergency information.
Before the flood:
• Consider securing sand bags and other flood protection items if your home or business is in a flood prone area or has experienced flooding in the past.
• Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
• Keep gutters and drains free of debris.
• Do not dispose of yard waste or trash into streams or estuaries. Keep them clear to alleviate flooding.
• Review your homeowner’s policies to understand what may or may not be covered by your flood insurance.
During the flood:
• Minimize vehicle travel or better yet, plan to stay at home until weather conditions improve and any watches or warnings are cancelled.
• Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
• If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, STOP! Turn around and go another way. Remember: turn around, don’t drown!
• Do not open sewer or utility covers to drain floodwaters.
After the flood:
• Stay Informed: Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions. Ensure water is safe to drink, or to use for cooking or cleaning after a flood. Authorities may ask you to boil water for a certain period of time after a flood.
• Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas are dealing with power outages.
• Avoid Flood Waters: Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be sharp objects under the water or the road could have collapsed.
• Avoid Disaster Areas: Do not visit disaster areas. Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
• Heed Road Closed Warnings and Cautionary Signs.
• Wait for the All Clear: Do not enter a flood-damaged home or building until you're given the “All Clear” by authorities.