This news item expired on 11/27/2012, so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.

Preparing for a Flood


A large amount of rain could be headed our way. Are you prepared for possible flooding?

Floods are common in Western North Carolina, but not all floods are alike.  Some floods build up gradually, while others can develop quickly in just a few minutes, causing flash flooding. Be aware of potential flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas or near water.  Many places can flood, even small streams, creeks or low-lying areas that normally appear harmless.

Preparing for an emergency before it happens makes sense. Follow these steps to  get safely through a flood:

Before a Flood

  • Find out if you live in a flood prone area. Contact Buncombe County Emergency Services about local flood history.
  • Plan and practice more than one way to get to higher ground from home and work.
  • Plan to call a family member or close friend if your family is separated.
    • Be sure your family knows how to call that person.
    • Choose someone who doesn’t live near you and let them know that they are your emergency contact.
  • Everyone should have emergency supplies on hand. The same supplies will be useful for many different kinds of emergencies such as a loss of power, blizzard or flood.
  • Battery operated radio and extra batteries.
    • First aid kit and medicines
    • Food, water, can opener
    • Cash, credit cards, important papers such as insurance information, mortgage, banking account numbers

During a Flood

  • Stay out of flood waters. They often carry illness-causing germs.
  • Move to higher ground if you need to.
  • Do not try to drive through flooded areas.
  • If your car gets caught in rising water, get out of the car quickly.
  • Watch out for mudslides, downed electrical wires or fallen objects. Stay away and call 911.
  • Report broken water or sewer lines to the appropriate utility company.
  • Listen to local radio for information and updates from Emergency Services.

After a Flood

  • Continue to stay away from flooded areas.
  • Keep listening to the radio for updated news
  • If you must walk or drive in areas that were flooded, stay on solid ground.  Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • If your home or work was flooded:
    • Contact your local building inspector to determine if it is safe to enter the building.
    • Use a flashlight to check the building. Do not use matches or turn on the electricity.
    • Have a licensed electrician, air conditioning or appliance repairman check before you turn power back on or use these items.
    • If you smell gas leave the house and call PSNC Energy or your local carrier.
    • Ask a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and piping.

For more information, go to buncombecounty.org/health or www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/floods.html.

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