August Safety Tip: Flood Preparedness

The Safety Tip is provided by U.Va.'s Office of Emergency Preparedness on the 11th of every month.

August 11, 2011 — Floods are the most common natural disaster in Virginia, but not all floods are alike. Some develop slowly during a long period of rain or due to melting after a heavy snow. Flash floods can happen quickly, even without any obvious signs of rain, occurring when the ground cannot absorb rain fast enough and storm drains cannot keep up with the overflow from streams.

Know how to respond should high waters come your way.

•    Monitor weather through local media or weather radio.
•    Be prepared to evacuate.
•    Secure your home; if you have time, bring in outdoor furniture.
•    Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. 
•    Get to higher ground; 95 percent of those killed in a flash flood try to outrun the waters along their path rather than going uphill to higher ground.
•    Avoid fast water flow; a mere six inches of flood water can knock a person down
•    Do not attempt to drive on a flooded road. A regular car can stall in as little as six inches of water. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately.
•    Most vehicles will be swept out of control in as little as 12 inches of water, sometimes less.
•    Dial 511 to find out about traffic and road condition reports or visit

More tips for dealing with floods in Virginia information can be found here.

For information, contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness at 434-982-0565 or

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