Text Version      
Montgomery County Maryland top half of the county seal
Home | Translate   bottom half of the county seal
empty space above portal links
ResidentsGovernmentBusinessCulture
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | Box 4117 | Gaithersburg, MD 20878
240-777-2300 (voice) | 240-777-2345 (fax)

Orange BulletPreparing for a Flood or Flash Flood

What Is A Flashflood?

Flash floods develop from intense thunderstorms dropping large amounts of water in a short time. Flash floods occur with little or no warning. During periods of urban flooding, streets can become swift moving rivers and basements can fill with water.

Did You Know . . .

  • You can get weather alerts automatically on a NOAA Weather Radio.

  • Swiftly moving floodwaters only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.

  • Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto related.

  • Roads covered by floodwaters could already be washed away.

  • Most insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurance company. For further information, ask your insurance company, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-427-4661, or check their website at fema.gov/nfip.

  • MITIGATE BY ELEVATING OR RELOCATING PROPERTY TO HIGHER GROUND:

    • Raise your washer and dryer, water heater, oil tank, and furnace on concrete blocks.

    • Install and maintain a sump pump system in below-ground floors.

    • Install backflow valves on sewer lines to prevent sewer lines from backing up.

    • Clear debris from ditches and culverts.

Do You Know the Difference?

  • Flash Flood or Flood Watch means flash flooding or flooding is possible within the designated WATCH area – be alert.

  • Flash Flood or Flood Warning means flash flooding or flooding has been reported or is imminent – take necessary precautions at once.

  • Urban and Small Stream Advisory means flooding of small streams, streets, urban storm drains, railroad underpasses, and low-lying areas is occurring.

Plan Ahead

  • Locate a place to take your pet. The Red Cross does not allow pets at their shelters. Have a Pet Care Plan. Contact a friend, veterinarian or kennel that is not in your immediate area. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET BEHIND.

  • Know your flood risk. Do your local streams or low-lying areas flood easily? If so, have a plan and practice your evacuation routes.

  • Make an itemized list of all personal property and take pictures or videotape items both inside and outside the home.

  • Keep your automobile fueled.

  • Keep your insurance policy and your list of personal property in a safe, watertight place.

Assemble your family's Disaster Supplies Kit

  • A battery-powered flashlight, radio, and plenty of extra batteries

  • A first-aid kit, prescription medicines for your family, and extra pair(s) of eyeglasses

  • A battery powered fire alarm

  • Your family's immunization records, and other pertinent medical records and medical cards

  • A list of the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers

  • A supply of water for three days (one gallon per person per day). Store water in clean, unbreakable containers

  • A supply of non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener, plus any special foods you require (baby or diabetic special diets, for example)

  • If you have a baby, include extra diapers and other infant care items.

  • A change of clothing, rain gear, rubber boots and sturdy shoes for each family member

  • Blankets or sleeping bags for each family member

  • Books or quiet games that your children enjoy, to keep them busy

  • If you have a pet, include your pet's vaccination record, food, medication, leash, collar, pet carrier and favorite toy.

Wild Animals

Remember that many wild animals are forced from their natural habitat by flooding. Do not corner an animal. Call M.C. Animal Services at (301) 279-1694 if an animal needs to be removed.

During A Flood . . .

  • IF A FLASH FLOOD WARNING IS ISSUED OR YOU REALIZE THAT A FLASH FLOOD IS IMMINENT, EVACUATE QUICKLY. GO TO HIGHER GROUND.

  • IF YOUR AUTOMOBILE STALLS, LEAVE IT IMMEDIATELY AND SEEK HIGHER GROUND.

  • NEVER DRIVE OR WALK THROUGH FLOODED ROADWAYS OR STREAMS.

  • Keep your battery-operated radio tuned to a local emergency alert station. If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.

Emergency alert stations are:

  • WMAL 0630 AM

  • WTOP 1500 AM & 103.5 FM

  • WASH 97.1 FM

  • WAMU 88.5 FM

  • WBIG 100.3 FM

If You Have Time:

  • Place a disaster supplies kit and a pet carrier cage in your automobile.

  • Turn off all utilities at the main switch, if you evacuate your house.

  • Turn off all gas tanks, including your barbecue's propane bottle.

  • Move valuables to a higher floor.

If you lose electricity, don’t open the refrigerator more than absolutely necessary. A full freezer should stay at freezing temperatures for about 2 days, a half-full freezer for about 1 day. If in doubt, throw the food out!

After A Flood . . .

  • Before entering, be sure that the structure is not in danger of collapsing.

  • Do not strike a match or use an open flame when you enter the house. Use a flashlight. Escaping gas could cause an explosion, and flammables may be present.

  • Watch for live electrical wires. Do not attempt to turn on electrical appliances or lights until an electrician has checked your system.

  • Open doors and windows to let air circulate, remove foul odors, and vent built-up gases.

  • Pump out the basement if it is flooded, but do so gradually.

  • If fresh food or open medications have come in contact with floodwater, throw them out.

  • Boil drinking water for at least one minute before using, or use safe bottled water.

  • If you think your well is contaminated, you must disinfect the water before using. Call County Well and Septic for further information.

  • If you have insured loss, call your insurance company to make a claim.

  • After the flood...MITIGATE. ELEVATE, RELOCATE, AND FLOODPROOF YOUR PROPERTY.


MAKE SURE ALL FAMILY MEMBERS KNOW YOUR FAMILY EVACUATION PLAN

For family assistance during an emergency call MCHHS
Crisis Center 24-hour phone line
301-315-4000.

Funding for brochure provided under Federal Mitigation Assistance Program from Maryland Emergency Management Agency


INTERNET LINKS

footer

Last edited: 10/11/2011