For more information on this or any other hazard, contact the NSA Mid-South Emergency Management Department at 901-874-5749 or 901-874-5119.
Before a Flood
To prepare for a flood, you should:
• Determine whether you live in a potential flood zone. Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
• Be aware of creeks and other low-lying areas that are prone to sudden flooding.
• Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
• Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
• Construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the building.
• Have flood insurance. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. Do not make assumptions. Check your policy.
• Keep your automobile gas tank filled; if electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
• Keep a stock of food that requires little cooking and no refrigeration; electric power may be interrupted.
• Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment and lights and flashlights in working order.
• Develop evacuation routes from your home and your workplace.
During a Flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
• If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Listen to the radio or television for information.
• Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
• Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media.
• Store drinking water in various containers and clean bathtubs. Water service may be interrupted.
If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
• Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
• Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
Driving Flood Facts
The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
• A foot of water will float many vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
After a Flood
The following are guidelines for the period following a flood:
• Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
• Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
• Avoid moving water.
• Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
• Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
• Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
• Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
• Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
• Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
• Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.