You may have only a few days, perhaps less, to get ready for the storm. But there still are things you can do to prepare for possible flooding, power outages, and evacuation.
Many local communities have emergency alert systems that can email, text, or call you with emergency information. Sign up for that service before a storm. Tune in to local news and listen closely for these flood-related weather watches and warnings:
Flooding in your area is possible. You should leave or be prepared to move to higher ground on short notice.
Flooding is occurring or is about to occur soon. If authorities advise you to evacuate, do so immediately.
Sudden flooding from intense rainfall is possible. You should leave or be prepared to move to higher ground on short notice.
A flash flood is occurring or about to occur. Seek higher ground immediately.
If you need to evacuate, listen for information from local officials about roads that are closed and emergency shelter locations. Some shelters may be closed because they too are flooded or because there are not enough people to staff them. In addition to local news, another way to find open shelters is to text the word SHELTER followed by your ZIP code (for example, “SHELTER 73026”) to 43362. You will receive a response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If your community has a 211 call service, they may have shelter information too.
Here are some other steps to take:
Sandbags do not provide total protection from flooding. But they can direct water away from the areas where water is most likely to get into your home. Here are some things to keep in mind: