National Preparedness Month: Flood Safety


September is National Preparedness Month and during the first week, the focus is on flood safety.  While it doesn’t seem that a flood is in our near future with this dry heat the region is experiencing, it is always important to know what to do when disaster strikes.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, lends a hand to helping us all know more about the specifics of a flood, knowing the risks a flood can cause, and how to protect ourselves before, during, and after a flood.

Flood Specifics

According to FEMA, flooding is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry.  Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water or it may cover a house to the rooftop.  It is important to understand that flooding can happen during any season of the year but most regions should be aware when the area they live in is at a higher risk.

Houston home with water damage after hurricane

How does flooding occur?

  • Rivers and lakes cannot contain excessive rain or snow melt
  • Excessive rain or snow melt cannot be full absorbed in the ground
  • Waterways are blocked with debris or ice and overflow
  • Water containment systems break. Such as: levees, dams, or water sewer systems
  • Strong winds from tropical storms or hurricanes cause a storm surge by pushing seawater onto land

Know The Risk

There are many factors that impact the physical destruction of flooding:

  • speed and level of the water
  • duration of the flood
  • condition of terrain and soil
  • the environment that flooding occurs within

The National Weather Service issues flood alerts when weather conditions make flooding more likely.

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in your area.  You should be prepared to leave or move to higher ground immediately upon short notice.

Flood Warning:  Flooding is occurring or is about to occur soon.  If advised to evacuate area, you should do so quickly and immediately.

Flash Flood Watch: Flash flood is possible.  You should be prepared to leave or move to higher ground immediately upon short notice.

Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring or about to occur. Seek higher ground immediately.

Evacuation Notice:  If the danger is significant, a evacuation notice may be issued to alert residents that flooding is or will be occurring and it is important to evacuate the area.

Protect Yourself from Flooding


  • Know your flood risk
  • Stay informed
  • Know your evacuation routes
  • Know the 5 P’s of evacuation
    1. People
    2. Prescriptions
    3. Papers
    4. Personal Needs
    5. Priceless Items
  • Protect your property and manage your risk
    • elevate the heating system, water heater, and electric panel
    • install check valves in sewer lines
    • waterproof the basement
    • install sump pumps with battery backup
    • keep gutters and drains free of debris

Be in the know: Save Your Belongings From Northwest Indiana Flooding


  • Evacuate the area if ordered to do so by authorities.  If plenty of time is allowed before evacuation is necessary, consider the following:
    • move items you want to protect to higher ground
    • turn off gas, water, and electricity- do not touch electrical equipment if you suspect it to be wet or you are standing in water
    • put sandbags around your property
  • If you do not leave an area prior to flooding and you are trapped:
    • call 911 if possible
    • seek refuge in the highest level of the building, vehicle, or outdoors


  • Stay away from flooded areas until cleared to return
  • Use extreme caution when entering flooded buildings
  • Make sure to use battery operated flashlights in case flammable gases are in the air
  • Stay away from moving water
  • Avoid entering standing water
  • Watch for dangerous debris

Learn More: I’ve Had A Water Damage, Now What?

About AmeriClean, Inc.

AmeriClean, Inc was established in 1986 by Bob Eriks in a small warehouse as a provider of Fire Damage Restoration for Northwest Indiana.  Fast forward to today and AmeriClean’s services include CarpetUpholsteryAir Duct,  Area RugCeramic Tile Cleaning; as well as: Water Damage Restoration,Fire Damage Restoration and Mold Remediation.  With 30 years of experience, AmeriClean, Inc. is now a leading name in water, fire and restoration services for both residential and commercial properties.  For more information, visit our website or call 800.654.9101.

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