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Flash flooding: What you need to do before, during and after the storm passes

Posted at 12:47 PM, Mar 21, 2013

TULSA - You may not realize it but flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities than any other type of storm.

They can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.

Do you know how to prepare before a flood hits? How about what to do during a flood? And after a flood in your community?


-- Download Storm Shield Weather Radio app. You can set alerts to notify you of all types of storms. Available for iPhone and Android devices.

--Sign up for newsletters from 2 Works for You Storm Shield meteorologists to keep you informed of weather alerts for your county.

-- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

-- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.

-- Consider installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.

-- If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.


-- Stay connected with our 2 Works for You Certified Most Accurate meteorologists on-air, online, on your phone and on Facebook and Twitter.

--Move immediately to higher ground if there is the possibility of a flash flood. Don't wait for instructions to move.

-- Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.

To prepare your home for evacuation:

-- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.

-- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home:

-- Don't walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

-- Don't drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.

-- Don't camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.


-- Avoid moving water.

-- Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organization.

-- Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.

-- Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. Listen for local warnings and information. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.

-- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

-- Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. Barricades have been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, go another way.

--If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded. Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines. Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide animals and broken bottles, and it's also slippery. Avoid walking or driving through it.

-- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.

-- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.

-- Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.