As Hurricane Irma moves towards the United States, residents along the East Coast are preparing for a potential impact. Below are some useful tips to keep in mind.

Flood Watch Steps

  • Stay tuned in on your radio, television and even your cell phone apps
  • If you are in a potential flood area, have a plan about where to go, both by foot or car
  • Check your emergency preparedness kit and see if any items need to be replaced
  • Have not perishable food available in your home if it is on higher ground and you will be staying there
  • Secure all outdoor furniture and, if prudent, move all indoor furniture to the second floor
  • Disconnect electrical appliances.
  • Listen for instructions about turning off your gas and electrical service at the main source

For a Flood Warning

  • If a Flood Warning has been issued by the authorities, the “Watching and Preparing” part is over, so you immediately need to:
  • Go to higher ground
  • Evacuate if ordered to do so.  Don’t be a hero!
  • Avoid flood waters; don’t walk or drive through flood waters, even if they don’t seem to be deep or moving.  Under NO circumstances drive or attempt to walk through flood waters.  Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and a foot of moving water can sweep your car away!

After the Flood

  • Stay in place until you are notified that it is safe to return home
  • Try to learn where the flood waters have been and stay away from those areas as much as possible.  Floods leave debris and often erode bridge supports, road bases and even building foundations
  • Stay away from standing water as it could be electrically charged or be covering an unknown hole that was eroded in the ground
  • Take as many photographs as possible of the damage to your property for insurance purposes.