How to place sandbags
Health and Safety
· Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Septic Systems and Flooding Events (CLICK FOR LINK)
· Flood waters can make foods in your home unsafe to eat and can affect your drinking water if you are connected to a private well. Drink only bottled water until public water or your private well has been determined safe. Have bottled water ready and keep nonperishable items out of areas that could be impacted by flood waters. If food packaging looks damaged or food smells bad, when in doubt, throw it out. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/prepare.html
· Cleaning up after a flood can pose health risks. You and your family should wait to re-enter your home until professionals tell you it is safe, with no structural, electrical or other hazards. Before you start cleanup activities, contact your insurance company and take pictures of the home and your belongings. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.html
· Drying your home and removing water-damaged items after a flood is your most important step for preventing mold damage. https://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup-guide.html (infographic mold)
· Flood water may have carried sewage or chemicals into your home. This could expose you or your family to viruses, bacteria, disease carriers (such as mosquitos), and parasites, as well as mold. To learn more about cleaning and disinfection after a flood go to: www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/flood/standing.html. (infographic flood)
· Be ready for a flood! Unplug appliances to prevent electrical shock when the power comes back on. Turn off gas, power, and water when power lines are down, water is in your home, or before you evacuate. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/readiness.html
· Be prepared for cleanup after a flood! Throw away items that cannot be disinfected, like wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall. Use fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers for drying.https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.html
· Practice safe hygiene for flood cleanup after returning to your home. Wear rubber boots and plastic gloves and disinfect walls, hard floors, and other surfaces with a mixture of 1 cup bleach and 1 gallon water. Use caution --flood water may contain trash. (infographic floods)
· Help your children prepare for and recover from disasters. Keep children and pets away from debris, do not allow children to play in moving or standing water, keep children away from dead or stray animals, and disinfect toys with diluted bleach. You may not be able to kill germs on some toys — like stuffed animals and baby toys. Throw out toys you can’t clean.https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/kids_cleanup_safety.html (kids cleanup safety infographic)
· Don’t drive in flooded areas — turn around, don’t drown! Floodwater can pose a drowning risk for everyone— regardless of their ability to swim. Swiftly moving shallow water can be deadly, and even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/floodsafety.html (national weather service)
Am I likely to flood?
1) Go to the St. Clair County Mapping Program
2) Click on "Layer Catalog" in the upper left corner
3) Open and select "FEMA Flood Insurance Maps"
4) Zoom into your area (layer does not show if you do not zoom in)
Floods and Electricity
Although everyone knows that water and electricity do not mix, think about this before, during and after flooding.
1) Turn off electricity before the water hits (especially to unused out buildings including docks, sheds and pole barns).
2) If you have to leave your home due to flooding, turn off electricity before you leave. If you do not, any standing water in the home may become electrified and can start fires.
3) Before you enter any standing water in any building, ASSUME the water is electrified. You don't know if the electricity is still on and the water may be electrified
Take the possibility of self evacuation seriously. Even if it is "unlikely", there may not be a lot of time once your realize there is a problem. The time to think about evacuation is BEFORE you need to. Many times the roads you may NEED to evacuate become impassable BEFORE the flooding at your house makes it a necessity.
There is a lot of good preparation material including what to put in your "go kit" at our County web site at
Additionally, think about non-emergency things you can do to keep valuables safe in case of flood waters (or you sump pump dies)
Think about what is at the lowest levels of your home that you would hate to have damaged. Move any and all of those items to higher ground. It is likely that a person's house will flood, it is unlikely (but possible) that the entire house will be under water.