Use local alerts, radio stations, and other local information sources, such as American Red Cross apps, to get information and advice as soon as available.
Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends. Telephones and cellular phone systems are often overwhelmed following a disaster, so use phones only for emergency calls.
Health & Sanitation
Listen for news reports to learn whether the community's water supply is safe to drink.
Service damaged septic tanks and leaching systems as soon as possible. A damaged sewage system is a serious health hazard.
Have wells checked for contamination from bacteria and chemicals.
Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage, bacteria, and chemicals. Take precautions and wear appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, and face masks. Follow five basic steps for post-flood building restoration (seek out professional services and/or guidance before attempting to repair flood-damaged property), including:
Throw out any food, including canned items, that was not maintained at a proper temperature or has been exposed to floodwaters. Do not eat food from a flooded garden.
When in doubt, throw it out.
Remove and replace any drywall or other paneling that has been underwater. Use a moisture meter to make sure that wooden studs and framing are dry before replacing the drywall. Mold growth in hidden places is a significant health hazard.
Photograph damage to your property and contact your insurance agent. Do what you can to prevent further damage that insurance may not cover (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof).