Hurricane Ian: Here's Tips On How To Stay Safe During And After Flooding

Flooded road underwater after heavy rain storm

Photo: Getty Images

Hurricane Ian is already damaging Florida as its eyewall begins moving onshore Wednesday morning (September 28). According to CNN, the terrifying storm strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane and was 2 mph shy of Category 5. As of 11 a.m., it's whipping winds up to 155 mph and threatening tornadoes, storm surges, and severe flooding across the Sunshine State.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has prepared an emergency list of how to keep yourself safe during flooding around your home and in your neighborhood:

Before the flood reaches your area:

  • Know if floodwaters might affect your home and property. Know your elevation above flood stage.
  • Develop a flood emergency action plan.
  • Evacuate immediately, if advised to do so. Bring important documents with you.
  • Move to a safe area before access is cut off.
  • Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media.

During the flood:

  • Avoid areas subject to flooding. Do not attempt to cross flowing water.
  • Never drive through flooded roadways. Nearly half of all people killed in floods are those who try driving through flooded areas.
  • Do not drive around barricades, they are there for your protection.
  • If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately.
  • Never try to walk through or allow children to play around flood water.

After the flood:

  • Do not visit disaster areas, your presence may hamper emergency operations.
  • Throw out food that has come into contact with the floodwater and boil drinking water before using it.
  • Stay out of buildings that remain in flood waters.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas.
  • If the power is out, use flashlights to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.
  • Report broken utilities to the correct authorities.

For more information on how to stay safe during a hurricane, visit FDEM's website.

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