ALEXANDRIA, La. -- With its history of flooding, Louisiana citizens need to know what to do once the flood arrives, according state and federal disaster recovery officials.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Mitigation Division has been working with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) because of the mid-October floods.
Once the Flood Arrives
- Don't drive through a flooded area. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else.
- If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.
- Don't walk through flooded areas. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
- Keep children away from creeks, streams and drainage systems.
- Do not drive through standing or flowing water.
- Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is another major source of deaths in floods. Electric current passes easily through water.
- Look out for animals - especially snakes. Animals lose their homes in floods, too. They may seek shelter in yours.
- Take dry clothing, a flashlight and a portable radio with you. Then, wait for help.
- Don't try to swim to safety; wait for rescuers to come to you.
- If outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.