ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The American Red Cross is prepared for the possibility of severe local flooding in the Rockford area. Trained Red Cross workers are in constant communication with local emergency management officials to prepare for a response if flooding occurs. The Red Cross is working with community partners and has identified shelter locations and will open shelters if requested by emergency officials.
The Red Cross also urges individuals to download its free First Aid App for smart phones. The app features expert preparedness information for a number of situations, including flooding. The app is free and available for iPhone and Android users. Find the app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
Flood Safety Tips:
• Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
• Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
• When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
• Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
• If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
• Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
• Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
What To Do After a Flood:
• Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
• Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
• If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
• If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
• Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
• Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
• During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
• Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
• Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
• Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.