Flood Safety Tips
Be sure to follow these important flood safety rules to reduce personal risk during a flood:
- Don’t drive through a flooded area. More people drown in cars than anywhere else. The water depth and road condition are always unknown. Vehicles can be swept away in only 12 inches of water.
- Don’t walk through flood waters. Flood currents are also deceptive. Adults can be swept off their feet in only 6 inches of water.
- Avoid electrical lines and equipment. Electrocution is the second leading cause of death during floods. Turn off power at your service panel. Electrical current will travel through flood water.
- Be alert to gas leaks. Turn off gas to your house before a flood. If you smell gas, report it to your gas company and avoid open flames.
- Don’t use gas engines or fires indoors during power outages. These pose risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and house fires.
- Clean anything that has been wet. Flood water will be contaminated with sewage, oil, gasoline, and a variety of chemicals that pose severe health risks.
- Always cooperate with emergency officials and rescue personnel. You can replace personal belongings, but you can't replace someone's life.
For more information about flood safety, visit the Turn Around Don't Drown campaign website.
Missoula County encourages its residents to listen to local news radio and television stations for flood warnings and prepare accordingly. Residents can also monitor local river levels through the USGS stream gauges website.
Missoula County provides Smart911, a free service designed to enhance personal and family emergency preparedness, to all residents. Signing up with Smart911 allows you to create a unique Safety Profile for your household which will provide critical details to 9-1-1 that may help your family in the event of an emergency. Your Safety Profile pops on 9-1-1 dispatchers screens when an emergency call is made from a registered phone. Additionally, Smart911 allows you to opt-in to receive emergency alerts from your community through a variety of communication channels including voice, text or email.
Fire, law enforcement and EMS emergency responders throughout Missoula County recommend people sign up for Smart911 as a part of your family’s emergency plan. Sign up at smart911.com.