Know what to expect. Know your area's flood risk. If you don't know, you can call the Red Cross, Office of Emergency Preparedness, or your area's planning and zoning department. If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
Reduce potential flood damage by raising your furnace, water heater and electric panel. Consult with a professional for further information about if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken. Also, be sure to obtain separate flood insurance. Most homeowner's policies do not cover rising water.
Floods can take several hours or days to develop. Know what flood WATCHES and WARNINGS mean: a WATCH means a flood is possible in your are. A WARNING means a flood is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
Flash floods can take only a few minutes to a few hours to develop.
Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places... a friend's home in another town, a motel or a shelter. Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home, if possible. Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
When a Flash Flood WARNING is issued, or if you believe one has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly! Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades... they are there for your safety.
If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.