Be Prepared for a Flood

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Release date: 
August 30, 2006
Release Number: 

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- As Tropical Storm Ernesto threatens to bring heavy rains to Pennsylvania , the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) urge all Pennsylvanians to prepare now for potential floods. As part of their continuing recovery efforts in response to the late-June floods, FEMA and PEMA want to encourage individuals, families and businesses to consider their disaster preparedness efforts.

Floods can happen anywhere, at any time, and they can happen fast. To ensure you aren't caught unprepared, here are some actions you can take:

  • Prepare a disaster kit: A disaster kit should have essential supplies needed to sustain yourself and your family during and after a disaster. The most essential supplies for a kit are water, non-perishable food, a radio, a first aid kit, extra batteries, and unique family needs such as prescription medications and important family documents.

  • Make an emergency plan: Essential components should include a communication plan, an out-of-town contact, an evacuation plan, a shelter-in-place plan, and knowledge of emergency plans at work, school, and other areas of your community. Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers with you at all times.

  • Stay informed: Keep informed about all the different types of disasters that could affect your home and community. Remember, some of the things you do to prepare are the same for both natural and man-made disasters. To become more familiar with how to react in an emergency, visit or call 1-800-BE-READY (1-800-237-3239) . Both the web site and hotline provide helpful information about disaster preparedness.

  • Document property for insurance: Take photos of your most valuable possessions to facilitate any insurance claims you make. Save and store receipts for any expensive household items so you have proof of original cost. Make an itemized list of other possessions including books, small kitchen appliances and clothing. The more comprehensive the list, the better. These documents will help you file a complete insurance claim.

In the event of flooding, there are a few steps you should take to make sure you and your family stay safe:

  • Do not walk through a flooded area. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down.

  • Do not drive through a flooded area. Two feet of water can lift and move a car, even an SUV. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else during a flood.

  • Keep away from downed power lines and other electrical wires. Electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods.

  • Be careful of animals that have lost their homes during a flood. Animals may seek shelter in your home and aggressively defend themselves.

To learn more about getting your home, family, business, or community ready, call 1-800-BE-READY or visit In addition to general disaster preparedness tips, the website has information specific to different groups such as children and the disabled, and provides links to some local resources. There are also brochures and booklets available that can provide you with more tips on disaster preparedness that are downloadable from the website, or can be mailed to your home or business by ordering through the toll-free number or online.

FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, an...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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