Red Cross flood tips
encourages families to be prepared and cautious
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PEORIA -- Due to heavy rains,
many parts of central Illinois are experiencing rising water and
flash floods. The Red Cross is encouraging people traveling to be
cautious and careful.
Preparing for floods
floods can catch people unprepared. Due to the sudden nature of
flash flooding, you may not hear a warning from emergency officials
if your area has been affected. Nonetheless:
Listen to NOAA
Weather Radio, commercial radio and television for the latest
flash flood and flood watches, warnings, and advisories.
difference between a flash flood watch and warning:
means a flash flood is possible. If a flash flood watch is
issued in your area, be sure to fill your car's gas tank so
you can be prepared to leave immediately in case an
evacuation notice is issued.
means flash flooding is already occurring or will occur
soon. If a flash flood warning is issued, move to higher
ground away from rivers, creeks and storm drains.
valves in building sewer traps to prevent floodwater from
backing up into the drains of your home.
What to do in an area of flash flooding
Floodwaters are dangerous and powerful. Be extremely cautious
when confronted with floodwaters and know their awesome power.
In the car:
Look out for
flooding at highway dips, bridges and low areas. If you come
upon floodwaters, don't drive through them; the road could be
washed out underneath. A depth of 2 feet will float your car.
Do not attempt to
drive through road barricades. They are there for your safety.
If you come upon a barricade warning of high water, seek an
If your car stalls in rapidly rising
waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
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Out of the car:
Even 6 inches of
fast-moving flood water can knock you off your feet. Many people
are swept away wading through floodwaters.
Never try to walk
or swim through swift water. If you come upon floodwaters, stop,
turn around and go another way.
Never play around high water, storm
drains, ditches, ravines or culverts. It is very easy to be
swept away by fast-moving water.
What to do after a flood
Return home only
when officials have declared the area safe.
your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas
lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
Parts of your home
may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See
if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
If you smell
natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave
immediately and call the fire department.
If power lines are
down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing
Keep children and
pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
Materials such as
cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and
damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local
authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber
Make sure your food and water are safe.
Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater,
including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby
bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
[Text from file received from the
American Red Cross,
Central Illinois Chapter]