Village Of Poland

Flood Safety

July 09, 2013

July 7, 2013


Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, and most occur during flash floods. Six inches of flowing water can knock you off your feet.

Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Don't drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.


Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electricity can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.


Turn off your electricity when you return home from evacuation. Some appliances, such as television sets, can shock you even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.


Watch for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their home may have sheltered in yours. Use a pole or a stick to poke and turn over items or scare away small animals. 


Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and glass. Floors and stairs that have been covered in mud can be very slippery.


Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area has been aired out. Carbon monoxide exhaust kills. Use generators and other gas powered machinery outdoors. Use camp stoves and charcoal grills outdoors.

Clean everything that got wet. Flood waters have picked up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms, and storage buildings. Spoiled food and flooded cosmetics and medications are health hazards. When in doubt throw them out.

Take good care of yourself. Recovering from a flood is a big job. It is tough on the body and spirit. The effects a disaster has on you and your family may last a long time. Some helpful tips are to keep the family together, discuss your problems, rest often and eat well. Set a manageable schedule and watch for signs of stress and seek help.

This information was published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross. Copies of the book are available from your local Red Cross Chapter or by writing to: FEMA P.O. Box 2012 Jessup, MD 20794-2012.

For more information, assistance, and questions contact the Herkimer Flood Hotline at 315-547-3011 or Herkimer County Office for the Aging/NY Connects at 315-867-1415 or; go to departments, then Office for the Aging. 

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