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Flooding Info

The most common of all natural hazards is flooding. Being prepared is a vital step toward protecting both lives and personal property.

What to do before a flood:

  • Understand “Watch” and “Warning” terms.
  • Determine if you are in a flood-prone area.
  • Purchase NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Know how to shut off utilities.
  • Purchase flood insurance.
  • Keep your car filled with gas.
  • Make plans to care for your pets in case you must evacuate.

What to do during heavy rains:

  • Know what low-lying areas near your home are subject to flooding, such as creeks, drainage channels, streams and bayous.
  • Do not try to walk or drive through flooded areas.
  • Stay away from moving water. Moving water 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
  • Evacuate if advised or if you feel threatened.
  • If you have time, turn off all utilities at the main switch and move all valuables to a higher floor if possible, but only if you have time.
  • If you’re caught in the house by suddenly rising waters, move to the second floor and/or the roof. Take warm clothing, a flashlight and a radio with you. Do not try to swim to safety. Wait for help. Rescue teams will be looking for you.
  • Monitor radio and TV for current information.
  • Keep a disaster kit handy.

What to do after a flood:

  • Stay away from flooded areas.
  • When flood waters recede, watch out for weakened surfaces.
  • Keep away from downed power lines, especially near water.
  • Monitor radio and TV for current information.
  • If you evacuate, return home only when authorities advise that it is safe.
  • Call your insurance agent. Have your policy and list of possessions handy to simplify the adjuster’s work.
  • When it is safe to return home, be sure your house is not in danger of collapsing before entering.
  • Open windows and doors to let air circulate.
  • Take photos to record the damage.
  • Throw out perishable foods. Hose down appliances and furniture, even if they have been destroyed. You need to keep these for the adjuster’s inspection.
  • Shovel out mud while it is still wet.
  • Have your water tested before using.
  • Wear gloves and boots when cleaning.
  • Make any temporary repairs necessary to stop further losses from the elements and to prevent looting.

Flooding Q&A

Our local flood hazard comes from various sources. When you mention flood zones, naturally most people associate that with the Gulf of Mexico. This is not the only source of flooding-there are numerous marshes, swamps and bayous. Knowing if your property is within a special flood hazard area is important. This knowledge will help you to make decisions about your structure, elevation of the structure and insurance.The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners. Even if you do not live near water, your home still has a chance of being flooded. In fact, 25 to 30 percent of flood insurance claims are paid in low risk-areas.Flood losses aren’t covered by your homeowners’insurance policy. Floodwaters have the power to damage not only your home and sense of security, but also your financial future. For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program, call 1-888-CALL FLOOD,TDD 1-800-727-5593, or visit www.floodsmart.gov.