How to Keep Your Family Safe if There’s a Flood

April showers may bring May flowers. But, unfortunately, floods can happen at any time of the year. If you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding it’s important that you know how to keep your family safe in the case of a flood. Save the Children, the global humanitarian fund, says that following the steps below can help keep you and your family safe should your area be impacted by flooding.

flood
Image via Unsplash/ jim gade

Before a Flood:

1. Make a plan

Just as your family probably has a plan for what to do in case of a fire, you should have a plan for how to stay safe during a flood. Talk with your children about why floods happen, how they can stay safe, and what you’ll do if flooding is happening in your area. Consider how you’ll protect your property in addition to your loved ones and consider looking into flood insurance.

2. Stay informed

If there’s a flood watch or warning in your area, stay informed by listening to the radio, watching the news, or checking in for updates on your phone. If evacuation is recommended, do so promptly and safely!

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During a Flood

1. Follow the guidance of local authorities

First responders and elected officials are most informed about what areas may be affected and what challenges exist or are being predicted. Listen to their guidance around where to go, when to go and how to get there.

2. Move to higher ground as quickly as possible

During a flood, do your best to move to higher ground as quickly as is safely possible. Avoid standing, flowing, or rising water and don’t attempt to wade through any water as it may appear to be still or shallow when in reality it’s deep or fast moving. 

3. Keep kids away from water

If possible, keep kids away from any and all water or hazardous sites. The water is likely to be dirty, can carry bacteria, and is vulnerable to electric shock. If kids are exposed to the water or flood-damaged areas, wash their hands and bathe them with clean water as soon as possible.

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After a flood:

1.Ensure utilities are restored

Before children return to flood-affected areas, ensure utilities (such as electricity and plumbing) are restored.

2. Clean or discard contaminated toys

Do not allow children to play with toys that have been contaminated by the water and have not been disinfected. Materials that cannot be readily disinfected, such as stuffed animals or pillows, should be discarded.

Has your family dealt with flooding? 

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How to Keep Your Family Safe if There’s a Flood

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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