Surviving Flood Emergencies at Home

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. 2021 has become the deadliest flooding year since 2017, with deaths reaching 116 as of Mid-September. Fortunately, you can take steps to keep your children (and family) safe before and during flood emergencies.

Your Flood Emergency Checklist: How to Prepare

Floods can be caused by a variety of factors such as hurricanes or storms, heavy rainfall over a short period, prolonged rain, snowmelt, rising rivers, dam failure or inadequate draining. Flooding can happen anywhere and anytime – here’s how you and your family can be prepared to take on a flood emergency.

  • Gather Emergency Supplies:

    It’s important to remember to gather as much food and water you can find. Store at least one gallon of water per day for each person and pet.

  • Know Your Community’s Warning Signals:

    Plan ahead and ensure you and your family have a clear understanding of the evacuation plan. Emergency shelter locations will be your key to safety during the storms.

  • Prep your Pool for Flooding:

    When preparing for a storm that may cause flooding, it’s important to know not to drain your pool, as an empty pool shell without the weight can crack, float or pop out of the ground from the pressure of excessive groundwater. Monitor your water level during the storm, leave the pool cover off, and turn off all power to your pool.

  • Secure all Loose Pool and Yard Gear:

    All the pool gear that we recommend for optimal water safety is subject to flying away. Take some time before the storm to secure all loose items (pool cover, fences, pool toys, lounge chairs and tables, etc).

  • Practice Electrical Safety:

    Do not go into the basement, or anywhere water might be present near electrical outlets. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises, get out.

  • Waterproof your Basement:

    Install a water alarm and maintain a working sump pump to protect your basement. Install a battery-operated backup pump in case of power failure.

  • Stay Out of Areas Subject To Flooding:

    Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water and be contaminated with sewage and dangerous insects or animals.

Staying Safe After Flooding Occurs

  • Never ever Drive or Walk through Flood Areas.

    58% of the 997 fatalities blamed on flooding from 2011 to 2020 happened in vehicles, according to the National Weather Service. More than a third of the flooding deaths so far in 2021 have occurred this way. It can take as little as six inches to wash away your car or knock you off your feet.

  • Remember that flooding poses a drowning risk for everyone – regardless of swimming ability.

    Shallow water can be deadly, even for small children, as infants can drown in as little as 1 or 2 inches of water.

  • Stay Off Bridges With Fast Moving Water:

    Fast moving water can wash over bridges without warning.

  • If You’re Trapped In Your Car, Stay Inside:

    Stay inside your car if you find yourself in rapidly moving water. Get up onto the roof of the car if water starts to fill the inside.

  • Get To Higher Ground:

    If you can’t evacuate and your house is flooded, get to higher ground and try to signal for help, if needed.

To learn more, visit:

Pool Safety 101

The ZAC Foundation was established to prepare children and families for a lifetime of water safety. The organization works to strengthen pool safety legislation and fund advocacy, education, and effective programming surrounding water safety. Zachary’s memory is the inspiration for the Foundation’s mission and activities.

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