The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) this week is promoting the importance of flood safety and awareness. Flooding is one of Florida’s most frequent hazards and is a coast-to-coast threat that occurs on a yearly basis. FDEM encourages all Floridians to make a plan for their household, including what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves if a flood threatens your area.
“It’s critical that Floridians understand the risk of flooding in their community and the hazards that floodwaters can bring,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “During Flood Safety Preparedness and Awareness Week, I encourage everyone to take the time to understand your risk for flooding and take precautions to protect yourself, your family, your pets, and your home.”
Florida can experience various types of flooding including flash flooding from an afternoon thunderstorm, riverine flooding from excess rainfall runoff, and widespread areal flooding from copious amounts of rainfall from a tropical system. Recent tropical events during the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season caused historic and record-breaking riverine and areal flooding across the state. Follow the below safety tips to stay safe during a flood.
Flood Safety Tips:
- Preparing for a Flood – Make sure you know the types of flood risks in your area. Make a plan for all members of your household, including pets. Practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and what to do if a flash flood warning is issued. Keep important documents in a waterproof container or store them on a password protected digital drive. If time permits, move any valuables to higher ground.
- Staying Safe During a Flood – Evacuate immediately, if told do so. Do not walk, drive, or swim through flood waters. Just six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars and can cause loss of control and stalling, and one foot of water can float vehicles away. If you are trapped in your car in rapidly moving water, stay inside. If the water begins rising inside the vehicle, get on the roof. If you are trapped in a building, move to higher ground or a higher floor.
- Surviving After a Flood – Do not return to your home until it is deemed safe to do so. Avoid driving unless it is an emergency. Stay out of floodwater in your home which can be contaminated with dangerous debris or live wires. Wear protective clothing when cleaning up and do not touch any wires.
Visit FloridaDisaster.org/hazards/Floods to learn more about flood safety and protecting yourself before, during, and after a flood.
For weather updates and safety tips, follow the Division on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @FLSERT.