Floods happen, and according to the California Department of Water Resources, every county in our state has experienced a federally declared flood disaster area at least once within the last 20 years. Floodwaters can carry fast-moving debris, harmful contaminants and hazards. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can be deadly.
As the state recognizes Flood Preparedness Week from October 21 – 28, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) wants you and your family to be prepared.
Before a Flood
- Keep storm pipes and drains clear.
- Move valuable items to higher floors of your home.
- Get plastic tarps and sandbags to keep out water.
- Learn the best escape routes.
During a Flood
- Don’t wait and see; leave immediately.
- Never walk or drive through flood waters.
- Watch for mudslides and debris flows.
Additionally, follow these three safety steps to ensure you’re safe from any disaster:
- BE AWARE of your risk: Know whether your home is in a flood zone; pay attention to weather forecasts; and listen to local authorities.
- BE PREPARED: Always have an emergency evacuation kit ready; be prepared to evacuate early; have a household inventory with copies of critical documents with you or on the cloud; and have a plan for where you will go in an emergency and what to do with your pets.
- TAKE ACTION: Evacuate immediately when advised. Also, homeowners’ insurance does not cover damage due to flooding; consider purchasing flood insurance.
As we approach the rainy season, it is important for Californians to assess their flood risk, prepare and practice response plans, and learn from past floods. Remember, do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. If you encounter floodwaters, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!
- California Department of Water Resources – Flood Preparedness
- CalOES My Hazards
- Levee Flood Protection Zone
- FEMA Flood Map Service Center