10 Things You Should NEVER Do in a Flood Situation

If you live in an area that if prone to flooding, chances are that you feel you are more than prepared. For those who haven’t been involved in a flood, you might find yourself watching waters rise from a hotel room or even an Airbnb you’ve rented. 

Experience helps, of course, but nothing can save your life like keeping a cool head and knowing what NOT to do in a flood situation. Every year, people die because they panicked or they did things they should not have done.

Don’t become one of the statistics! Keep a cool head, use some common sense, and remember; the floodwaters will eventually recede!

Get ready to follow some basic DON’TS should you become trapped in a flood event. 

#1 Don’t Eat Food Exposed to Floodwaters

No matter how hungry you might get, never eat anything that floodwaters have contaminated. Explain to your children why they cannot eat contaminated food stuff.

#2 Don’t Drink Unsafe Water

Bottled water that is still sealed is fine, but water from the faucet must be boiled first. Never drink floodwater since it can be contaminated and carry multiple diseases. 

#3 Don’t Drive or Walk Through Flooded Roads

Even if you think it is safe or you have watched someone else do it. Every year, people drown trying to cross flooded or flood-damaged roads. Just DON’T!

#4 Don’t Touch Downed Power Lines

You might find power lines that have fallen across roads or other places. Do not even come close to them and never touch them. 

#5 Don’t Touch Wet, Plugged-in Appliances

When waters recede a bit, appliances and the electrical outlets are still wet and can cause electrocution if you come too close or if you try to unplug them. Be sure to tell your children not to touch appliances or plug anything into outlets that were submerged. 

#6 Don’t Get in Floodwater

Floodwater is contaminated with raw sewage, diseases, and dangerous animals that don’t mind dirty water, such as rats, fire ants, and snakes. Unless it is an extreme emergency and you have no other option, never touch, get into, or try to swim in floodwater. 

#7 Don’t Use Open Flames 

This means no cigarette lighters, matches, candles, or natural gas stoves. If there is a gas leak, you could unexpectedly cause an explosion. Use flashlights for lighting. . 

#8 Don’t Walk Over Bridges

If you are on foot and are trying to reach higher ground or a shelter, avoid walking over bridges. The structure could have been damaged during the flood and the water only recently receded. 

#9 Don’t Leave Your Pets Outside or Behind

If the house begins to take on water, bring your pets inside and have them with you on the second or third story, or even the roof! NEVER leave animals in kennels, cages, or other enclosed areas as they will probably drown. If you leave for a shelter, take them with you. 

#10 Don’t Return Home or Visit Relatives Until Safe to Do So

If you move to a shelter, do not return to your home when the weather looks good. Wait until the authorities tell you it is safe to do so. This is also true of relatives. Don’t try to search for family members until you are given the all-clear. 

Don’t become one of the statistics! Keep a cool head, use some common sense, and remember; the floodwaters will eventually recede!

FEMA website is a good resource to see if you are in a flood zone.

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