Play it Safe After a Flood

Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.

Going back to a flooded property

  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is a major killer in floods. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • Watch for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn items over and scare away small animals.

Going into your building

  • Your foundation may have been damaged and parts of your home may have collapsed. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
  • Re-enter your building carefully or ask the Community Development Department at 360.740.2696 for a complimentary safety check before you go in.

Stay healthy

  • Boil your water if told to.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Throw out fresh, thawed, and wet food.
  • Throw out water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • 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.
  • Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area has been aired out.
  • Carbon monoxide exhaust kills. Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machine outdoors. The same goes for camping stoves. Fumes from charcoal are especially deadly-cook with charcoal only outdoors.

Let your family know you’re safe. Register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your family and friends know your status. If you don’t have Internet access, call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.