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Natural DisastersFloods

Flood Preparation – READY! SET! GO!

The best preparation for possible flooding is to plan ahead. Download the READY! SET! GO! brochure to read about some of the things you can do to protect your home, property and family. There are three simple steps you can take to help protect your home from floodwaters and debris: READY – will teach you what you can do to prepare before flooding occurs. SET – will show you what to do if flooding is imminent. GO! – will give you the information you need to safely evacuate.

FREE Sand and Bags!

The City of Yucaipa provides sand and empty bags for filling – FREE OF CHARGE – at each of the following locations: Fire Station No. 1: 11416 Bryant Street (909-797-1000), Fire Station No. 2: 32664 Yucaipa Blvd. (909-797-2313), and Fire Station No. 3: 34259 Wildwood Canyon Rd. (909-795-3048). Residents will need to bring their own shovels and be prepared to fill the sand bag themselves. There is a maximum limit of 25 bags per person. If you arrive at the Fire Station and no one answers, the station firefighters are likely committed to an emergency call for service – please call the Fire Station before returning for sand bags. For more information about how to use sandbags, download the U.S. Army Corp of Engineer’s “Sandbagging Techniques” brochure.

Before a Flood

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communication plan.
  • Keep your car fueled and ready to go.
  • Know safe routes to higher, safe ground from your home and workplace.
  • Check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for flood insurance coverage. If none exists and your home is in a flood plain, contact your agent.
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
  • Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, and other emergency building materials handy for waterproofing.
  • Have roof repairs made and all leaks fixed before the rain comes.
  • Clear debris from all roof drains, gutters, downspouts, yard drains, and private drainage channels.
  • Trim trees, especially those with large over-hanging branches.
  • Make sure that pool and spa drains are in good working order and keep water at a safe level.
  • Make sure that water drains away from in-ground swimming pools and that it can’t accumulate alongside it. When the ground is saturated by long periods of heavy rains, pools without hydrostatic valves have been known to float out of the ground.
  • Sign up to Receive Emergency Alerts via text or email.

During a Flood

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • Secure your home. If you have time, secure all loose lawn furniture or other loose items in your yard.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • If you must drive, advise others of your destination and intended route. Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moving or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.  If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Be alert to power lines that have been toppled by wind or trees or broken gas lines. Report them immediately to 911.
  • If advised by local authorities to evacuate, move immediately to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water. Before leaving, call your family “out of state” contact with your intended destination.

After the Flood

  • Use local alerts and warning systems to get information and expert informed advice as soon as available.
  • Continue to monitor radio or television broadcasts for further information from local authorities..
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations.
  • Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. Listen for local warnings and information. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
  • Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. Barricades have been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, go another way.
  • If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded: Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines; flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide animals and broken bottles, and it’s also slippery. Avoid walking or driving through it.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Use flashlights, not lanterns, matches or candles, to examine buildings to prevent flammables that may be inside from igniting.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas. If electrical equipment or appliances have been in contact with water, have them checked before use.
  • If gas has been turned off, do NOT turn it on yourself. Wait for a utility crew or call a qualified professional.
  • Follow local instructions regarding the safety of drinking water. If in doubt, boil or purify water before drinking.
  • Do not use fresh foods or canned goods that have come in contact with flood waters. Canned foods can be consumed if they are treated properly after a flood.  Knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Additional Resources