The following common sense guidelines can help protect you from the dangers of flooding:
Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around barriers.
Do not walk through flowing water. Currents can be deceptive. Six inches of water can knock you off your feet.
Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. If your house is about to be flooded, turn off the power at the service box. Electrical current can travel through water. Electrocution is the second leading cause of death during floods.
Be alert to gas leaks. Turn off the gas to your house before it floods. If you smell gas, report it to Nicor Gas at 888-642-6748. Do not use candles, lanterns or open flames if you smell gas or are unsure if your gas has been shut off.
Keep children away from the flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains. Flood waters can carry unimaginable items that have been dislodged. Culverts may suck smaller people into them rendering them helpless.
Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their home may seek shelter in yours.
Do not use gas engines, such as generators, or charcoal fires indoors during power outages. Carbon monoxide exhaust can pose serious health hazards.
Clean everything that has been wet. Flood water will be contaminated with sewage and other chemicals which pose severe health threats.