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Before the flood:
- Learn the safest route from your home or business in case you have to leave in a hurry.
- Develop and practice a "family escape plan" and identify a meeting place outside your home in the event family members become separated.
- Make an itemized list of all valuables (include photographs), including furnishings, clothing, and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe, waterproof and fireproof place.
- Keep on hand a supply of nonperishable food, drinking water, medicine and first aid supplies. Store water in clean, closed containers such as plastic jugs.
- Make plans for your pets.
- Keep a portable, battery-operated radio, emergency cooking equipment, and flashlights in working order. Also store EXTRA BATTERIES.
- Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to pump fuel.
- Find out how many feet your property is above or below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
- Keep materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing.
- If flooding is likely and there is time, move essential items and furniture to upper floors in the house. Disconnect electric appliances that can't be moved. Do NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
- Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, or Emergency Alert System television and radio stations. Listen for FLOOD WATCH, WARNING, ADVISORY, or statement information.
During the flood:
- Continue monitoring NOAA Weather Radio and Emergency Alert System stations.
- If local officials advise evacuation, do so promptly.
- If directed to a specific location, go there.
- Know where the shelters are.
- Secure your home before leaving.
- If there is time, bring outside possessions inside the home or secure them. This includes lawn furniture, signs, garbage cans, garden tools, etc.
- Disconnect electric appliances that can't be moved. Do NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
- Lock house doors and windows.
Travel with care:
- Have a small Disaster Supply Kit in the trunk of your car.
- Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
- Use only recommended emergency routes.
- Watch for washed out roads, earth slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and fallen or falling objects.
- Watch out for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly flood.
- DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road or through standing water.
After the flood:
- Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Turn off any outside gas lines at meter or tank. Let the building air out to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
- Upon entering the building, use a battery powered flashlight. DO NOT use an open flame as a source of light. Gas may be trapped inside.
- Watch for electrical shorts and live wires before making certain the main power switch is off. DO NOT turn on electrical appliances until an electrician has checked the system.
- Throw out any medicine or food that has had contact with flood waters.
- Test drinking water for potability. Wells should be pumped out and water tested for drinking.
- If the public water system is declared unsafe by health officials, water for drinking and cooking should be boiled vigorously for 10 minutes. In an emergency, water may be obtained from the hot water tank or by melting ice cubes.
- Shovel out mud with special attention to cleaning heating and plumbing systems.
- Flooded basements should be drained and cleaned as soon as possible. Structural damage can occur if drained too quickly. When surrounding waters have subsided, begin draining the basement in stages, about 1/3 of the water volume each day.
- DO NOT handle electrical equipment in wet areas. It should be dried and checked before use.
- Report broken utility lines to police, fire, or other appropriate authorities.
Questions about Oswego County Emergency Management?