Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters except fire.
- Most communities in the United States can experience some kind of flooding after spring rain, heavy thunderstorms, or winter snow melts.
- Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period.
- Flash floods occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes.
Helpful Tips For Flooding ConditionsFlooding has caused the death of more than 10,000 people since 1900. There are some simple rules to remember to keep you and your family safe if a flood should affect you.
- Be alert for gas leaks: Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area ventilated.
- Currents can be deceptive. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there. It may seem like a lot of fun, but it is not a good idea to let your children play in flooded areas. Besides the danger of drowning or injury, a person can become very sick if the water is ingested.
- Do not drive through a flooded area: More people drown in cars than anywhere else. Don't drive around road barriers. The road or bridge may be washed out or the water may be deep. A car can float in only two feet of water.
- Do not walk through flowing water: Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Electrical currents can travel through water. Report downed power lines to ComEd.
- Have your electricity turned off by ComEd: Some appliances, such as television sets and computers, keep electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors such as in your washer or dryer that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried. And never enter a flooded basement unless you know the power has been turned off. The water level may be above the electrical outlets or there may be a submerged electrical cord.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires: The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution.
- Remember to help your neighbors, especially those that are elderly or managing disabilities.
- Throw away food: This includes any canned goods that have come in contact with flood water.
- Look before you step: After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris that may include broken glass.
- Wear sturdy shoes that have a thick nonslip sole. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud or slime can be very slippery.