Flood Safety Tips
Below are some flood safety tips for keeping you and your family safe in case of flooding.
- Have your electricity turned off by Consumer’s Energy: 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 been saturated with water 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.
- 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 has been ventilated.
- Throw away food: This includes any canned goods that have come in contact with floodwater.
- Remember to help your neighbors: Especially those that are elderly, have disabilities or have infants.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires: The #2 flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical currents can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your local power company.
- Do not walk through flowing water: Drowning is the #1 cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive - 6 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 about 2 feet of 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, non-slip sole. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud or slime can be very slippery.
Additional information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and Floodsmart.gov. More information on floodplains can be viewed at Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
Find out if your property is located within 100-year floodplain in the City of Portage. The floodplain map is featured in the Geographic Information System (GIS) HERE Version OptionsFlood Safety TipsHeadline.