10 Tips for Keeping Children Safe in a Flood
Gulf Coast Floods Children's Relief Fund
are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in the United States.
As much as 90 percent of all damage from natural disasters is caused by floods.
Flooding typically occurs after heavy or prolonged rainfall, or the rapid-melt
of snow. While the effects of floods can be devastating, there are simple steps
families can take to keep their children safe.
about floods. Spend time with your family discussing why
floods occur. Explain that flooding is a natural event and not anyone’s fault.
Use simple words that even young children can understand.
flood insurance. Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover
informed. Use a NOAA Weather Radio or listen to a local
station on a portable, battery-powered radio or television. Listen for and
respond to flood watches and warnings. Evacuate if told to do so or if you feel
guidance of local authorities. Local authorities, such as
elected officials and first responders, are most informed about affected areas
and most knowledgeable which flooded areas to avoid.
to higher ground. During a flood you should move to higher
ground and avoid standing, flowing, or rising water.
children away from dirty water. Keep children and pets away
from hazardous sites and floodwater as it’s likely to be dirty, carry bacteria,
and vulnerable to electric shock.
children clean. Wash children's hands frequently (always
before meals) and ensure they bathe after being exposed to flood waters or
utilities are restored. Before children return to
flood-affected areas, ensure utilities such as electricity and plumbing are
restored and living and learning spaces (e.g., homes, schools, child care
facilities) are free from physical and environmental hazards.
children’s participation in recovery. Children and teens
should not be involved in clean-up efforts but should return after the area is
cleaned up. Before children return, these areas should be cleaned and
disinfected, along with all toys, clothing, etc.
or discard contaminated toys. Do not allow children to play
with toys that have been contaminated by flood water and have not been
disinfected. Materials that cannot be readily disinfected, such as stuffed
animals or pillows, should be discarded.