Flood Preparedness

Did you know ... 

  1. Flooding is the most common natural disaster 
  2. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather related deaths in the US 
  3. Know the terms 
    1. Flood watch - a flood could happen, be aware 
    2. Flood warning - a flood is imminent or happening 
  4. Standard home insurance does not cover flood damages

During a flood 

  1. Turn Around, Don’t Drown 
    1. Each year, deaths occur as a result of flooding. Over half of flood related drownings are caused by vehicles driven into hazardous waters 
    2. 6 inches of moving water can knock over an adult and only 12 inches can carry away a small vehicle. 
  2. Move to higher ground, evacuate if told to do so. 
  3. Avoid creeks and rivers at or near flood stage. 
    1. Floodwaters may be contaminated with oil, gas or raw sewage 
    2. Waters may also be hiding hazards and debris. 
  4. If you are trapped in a building 
    1. Go to the highest level of the building. Avoid basements and lower floors, but do not climb into a closed attic as you may become trapped by rising floodwater 
    2. Go onto your roof only if necessary. Signal for help. 
  5. If you are trapped in your vehicle 
    1. If floodwater is blocking your evacuation route but you can turn around safely, turn around and go to a building on high ground 
    2. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle 
    3. If water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.

More tips for inclement weather:

  • Use caution and stay alert when traveling during stormy weather. Be prepared and make smart choices. 
  • Heavy rains reduce drivers’ visibility. When driving, turn on your lights, increase following distance, slow down, and watch for bicyclists and pedestrians. 
  • If you see flooding on the road - Turn around. Don't drown. Do not move or drive past road closure barricades. 
  • If you encounter a nonfunctioning traffic signal, treat the intersection as an all-way stop - the driver who stops first goes first. 
  • Leaf-clogged storm drains can result in localized flooding. Clear out storm drains and culverts adjacent to your property to prevent flooding. 
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, visit a self-service sandbag site

Tips from the Oregon Department of Transportation

Rain can create dangerous driving conditions including reduced visibility, reduced traction between tires and the road, and less predictable car handling. When it’s raining, be cautious and give yourself more time to get where you are going. Also remember to:

  • Slow down, especially through high water. Driving through several inches of water at high speed can cause you to lose control of the car.
  • Watch for hydroplaning conditions. If you hydroplane, ease off the gas, gently
  • Keep your distance. If it hasn’t rained in a while, road surfaces will be slick.
  • Turn on your headlights to improve visibility.
  • Disengage your cruise control.

Maintain your Vehicle

  • Before heading out in wet weather, check your wipers for signs of damage. Replace wiper blades regularly.
  • Make sure your defroster is functioning properly, especially if you haven’t used it in a while.
  • Check your brakes. After driving through a puddle, check that brakes are working properly by tapping them gently a few times.
  • Make sure tires are in good condition and are at the recommended inflation level. Tires should have a recommended 2/32 of an inch tread depth at any two adjacent grooves. Driving on over-inflated or under-inflated tires reduces traction and control on wet pavement.

Information on how to use sandbags:

http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/Portals/27/docs/emergency/NWD_Sandbag_Pamphlet.pdf