Emergency Management & Disaster Preparedness

Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Many states are facing flood threats with rainstorms in our forecasts. Please see below for this edition’s EM & DP Tips of the Month.

Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Floods may:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.
  • Develop slowly or quickly – Flash floods can come with no warning.
  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.

Prepare NOW

  • NOTE: Flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect
  • Make a family emergency communications plan (include pets)
  •  Stock emergency supplies at home, at work, and in the car
    • 3-day supply of non-perishable food
    • Can-opener
    • 3 GALLONS of water PER person
    • Map marked with at least TWO evacuation routes
    • Medications
    • Eyeglasses or contact lenses
    • Car keys & credit cards
    • Cash or traveler’s checks
    • First Aid kit
    • Flashlight
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Extra batteries
    • Sanitation supplies
    • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
    • Pet food and water
    • Change of clothing
    • Make sure your business has a Flood Safety plan
  • Learn your evacuation routes – in case you’re directed to leave by local authorities

Survive DURING

  • Evacuate when advised by authorities. Never drive around barricades.
    • If you are on high-ground above flooded areas, being prepared to stay may be the best protection
    • NEVER walk or drive through flooded streets (Turn Around, Don’t Drown!)
      • In vehicle – stay inside
        • If water rising IN vehicle – seek refuge on the ROOF
      • In building – go to highest level.
        • DO NOT climb into a closed attic.
        • ONLY IF NECESSARY, go on the roof – then signal for help
      • Monitor local news and weather stations for updates
      • If you don’t have to go out, stay home
      • Avoid and report all downed power lines and objects.

Be safe AFTER

  • Pay attention to authorities’ information
    • Return home ONLY when authorities say it’s safe to do so
    • Snakes and other animals may be in your house – wear heavy gloves and boots
    • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock.
    • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.


  • 6 INCHES of moving water can knock you down and make you lose control of your vehicle
  • 12 INCHES of moving water can sweep your vehicle away
  • STAY OFF bridges that have fast-moving water underneath

Photo Credit: www.twitter.com/FEMA

You never know what is under the murky water. Heed all warning and orders. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Photo Credit: www.twitter.com/CAL_FIRE


  Find out your risk level by visiting http://msc.fema.gov/portal/search

Get flood insurance to protect your home: http://floodsmart.gov 

  Make sure you can get local weather alerts a few different ways: http://weather.gov/subscribe 


Be informed, be ready. Please see www.ready.gov/floods for additional information.

Learn what to do before, during & after a flood in this How to Prepare for a Flood guide http://1.usa.gov/1poPE5S

Access FEMA’s Flood Information sheet here.

Access “How to Prepare For A Flood” here.


The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.

FEMA flood maps are continually updated through a variety of processes. Effective information that you download or print from that site may change or become superseded by new maps over time. For additional information, please see the Flood Hazard Mapping Updates Overview Fact Sheet