Protecting People from Flood Hazards

Everyone should be aware of the safety steps to take should a flood occur. Deceptive in nature, floods can quickly become life threatening. Listening for flood warnings on local television and radio stations, NOAA Weather Radio, and even local warning signals, and having an evacuation plan in place is key to avoiding dangerous situations. Note that a flood watch means conditions are favorable for flash flooding while a flood warning means that flash flooding is about to happen. Other flood safety tips include:

  1. Preparing an emergency supply of food and water
  2. Moving to higher ground
  3. Avoiding driving in flooded areas and walking through flowing water
    • Depths as little as six inches can sweep you away
    • Depths of 12 inches or more can damage and move your car
  4. Shutting off gas to the property
  5. Be alert for gas leaks
    • Don’t smoke, use candles, or open flame until gas has been turned off and the room has been well ventilated
  6. Staying away from power lines and electrical wires
  7. Calling the Power Company and turning off your electricity
    • Don’t use appliances that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried
  8. Looking out for animals, especially snakes
    • Small animals have been flooded out and they may be looking for shelter in your home
  9. Looking before you step
    • Floors and stairs may be covered with mud causing them to be slippery and difficult to navigate
  10. Evacuation Safety
    • Have a prepared plan of evacuation for all occupants and a meeting place in the event of an emergency
    • Act quickly; save yourself, not your belongings
    • Secure your home – lock doors and windows
    • Watch for washed out roads and avoid downed power lines

Read how to protect yourself from floods.

Visit the United States Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch and the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service for information on the real time stage height of the Chattahoochee River and Crooked Creek in comparison with the average height and flooding height.

See also the USGS National Water Information System.