5 Things to Know About Flooding to Keep You and Your Family Safe

Information from the National Weather Service & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Knowing what to do before, during and after a flooding event can increase your chances of survival. Here are 5 things you should know about flooding and how to keep yourself, and your family, safe.

  1. First, and foremost, if water is crossing the road in front of you, turn around – don’t drown! This is likely the most important tip we can convey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water – which means that these drownings are preventable! The next highest percentage of flood deaths come from walking into, or nearby, flood waters because people underestimate the force of the water. It only takes 6 inches of fast-moving water to knock over an adult. It takes 1 foot of rushing water to carry away a small car and only 2 feet of rushing water to carry away most other vehicles. Since you won’t be able to tell how deep the water over the road is with certainty, we’ll say it again: turn around – don’t drown!
  2. Typical flooding events in Missouri include flash flooding, river flooding, ice/debris jams, snowmelt, and possible dam breaks/levee failures. Read more about these types of flood hazards…
  3. Several different types of flood-related alerts can be issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). You should be prepared to take possible action when a Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch is issued. If a Flood Warning, Flash Flood Warning, Flood Advisory, Aerial Flood Advisory, or a Special Weather Statement are issued for your area, take action to keep yourself safe.
  4. During a flood event, avoid flood waters and stay tuned to local media and emergency management for more information. Contact your family and/or friends to let them know you’re ok if you’ve evacuated your home.
  5. Have a kit ready to go in advance with at least 3 days of provisions to cover your family should you need to evacuate or shelter in place. Don’t forget to include supplies for your family pets!

Additional resources: 
American Red Cross – Flood Safety
NWS Flood Safety Page
Ready.gov Beta Site (good for desktop, mobile)
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