Phoenix, ARIZ. (9/28/18) The Greater Phoenix Chapter of the American Red Cross, American Red Cross of Northern Arizona and the American Red Cross of Southern Arizona are actively preparing for next week’s arrival of, what is currently, Hurricane Rosa and what could be significant rainfall and flooding. Red Cross Volunteers and staff from across the Region are in communication with local Emergency Managers and have already developed comprehensive staffing plans, operational guidelines and are working with in-house and meteorological experts to pre-deploy supplies and resources to areas of the state that are projected to receive large amounts of rainfall.
As the Red Cross continues to prepare and take proactive measures in advance of the large Category 4 storm, we urge the public to prepare now for what could be large amounts of rain and flooding. The following pages contain comprehensive flood safety tips.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org orcruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
Local American Red Cross Social Media, Facebook & Twitter: @AmRedCrossSW
How to Prepare for Floods
If You Do Nothing Else
Prepare an emergency preparedness kit.
Learn about your community’s flood response plan. Also find out if your community has a flood warning system.
Create a household plan and practice it.
Realize that standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get more information on flood insurance atwww.FloodSmart.gov.
Then, If You Can, Do This
Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible).
Find out if you are located in a floodplain, which is considered a Special Flood Hazard Area. If so, you are still eligible for flood insurance. Check with your city or country government (start with the Building or Planning Department) to review the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, published by FEMA.
Find out if local streams or rivers flood easily.
Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. You may need quick, easy access to these documents. Keep them in a safe place less likely to be damaged during a flood. Take pictures.
Additional Steps to Protect Your Home
Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home. If you do, take precautions to make it less likely your home will be damaged during a flood.
Ensure that any outbuildings, pastures, or corrals are protected in the same way as your home.
If installing or changing fence lines, consider placing them in such a way that your animals are able to move to higher ground in the event of flooding.
Check with Your Professional To
Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to higher floors or the attic if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded. This will prevent damage. An undamaged water heater may be your best source of fresh water after a flood.
Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. As a last resort, when floods threaten, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.
Construct barriers such as levees, berms, and flood walls to stop floodwater from entering the building. Permission to construct such barriers may be required by local building codes.
Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage through cracks.
Right Before a Flood
Know the difference
o Flood / Flash Flood Watch: A watch means a flood/flash flood is possible in your area.
o Flood / Flash Flood Warning: A warning means flooding/flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Evacuate if directed. Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.
Check emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply. Keep it nearby.
Then, If You Can, Do This
Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking. Water may be contaminated or water service may be interrupted.
Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing. Young children should not bathe in water stored in glazed tubs and sinks because over time lead can leach into water from the glaze.
Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued. If electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors. Unsecured items may be swept away and damaged by floodwater.
Turn off propane tanks. They may be damaged or dislodged by strong winds or water. Turning them off reduces fire potential.
If You’ve Done All That, Now Do This
Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. Higher floors are less likely to be damaged by flood waters.
Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to prevent damage to your home or within your community. If you shut your gas off, a professional is required to turn it back on.
Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage. They may be affected by electrical power surges that may occur.
If You Have Pets
Consider a precautionary evacuation of your animals, especially any large or numerous animals. Waiting until the last minute could be fatal for them and dangerous for you.
Where possible, move livestock to higher ground. If using a horse or other trailer to evacuate your animals, move sooner rather than later.
Bring your companion animals indoors and maintain direct control of them. Be sure that your pet emergency kit is ready to go in case of evacuation.
During a Flood
Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Evacuate if directed. Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
Boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe.
Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage.
Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded until after they have been checked for safety.
Dispose of any food that has come into contact with flood water.
Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
Try to get to higher ground and stay there. Move away from dangerous flood water. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
Don’t walk on beaches or riverbanks.
Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water. It may be contaminated with sewage.
Then, If You Can, Do This
Avoid already flooded areas and areas subject to sudden flooding. The National Weather Service reports that nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains.
If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
Do not attempt to cross flowing streams or water covered roads. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. The depth of the water is not always obvious. The roadbed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped. Also, standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Rapidly rising water may stall the engine, engulf the vehicle and its occupants, and sweep them away. Look out for flooding at highway dips, bridges, and low areas. Two feet of water will carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks.
Stay away from underpasses. Underpasses can fill rapidly with water, while the adjacent roadway remains clear. Driving into an underpass can quickly put you in five to six feet of water.
Turn around and find another route if you come upon floodwater, rapidly rising water or barricades. Barricades are put up by local officials to protect people from unsafe roads. Driving around them can be a serious risk.