Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Flood Safety Tips

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Flood Safety Tips

Article excerpt

These are flood safety tips recommended by the American Red Cross:

-- Stay away from flooded areas until local authorities say it is safe to return.

-- Do not drive through a flooded area. If you come upon a barricade, turn around and go another way. The road could be washed out underneath. Eighty percent of people who die in flooding are in vehicles.

Avoid driving through flooded areas to check damage; you may impede emergency response and cleanup efforts.

-- Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of flood deaths. Most of these drownings occur during flash floods. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Use a pole or stick to make sure that the ground is still there before you go through an area where the water is not flowing.

-- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is also a major killer in floods. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.

-- Before entering a flooded home, walk around it first to inspect the outside for potential cracked or failing foundation.

-- Turn off your electricity when you return home. Turn off at main breaker box or main fuse box, even if power is off in the area. That way, you can control when power is restored to your home, to avoid potential electrical shock or fire.

-- If the furnace has been damaged by flood, avoid the urge to test it by turning it on. Unseen flood damage can destroy a furnace if it is turned on before the damage is repaired. Have a professional check out the furnace first.

-- Watch for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn items over and scare away small animals.

-- Look before you step. …

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