Anthony, 2, holds a toy stethoscope up to his mom, Beny, at a safe play space Save the Children established in an evacuation center in the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina as Hurricane Florence begins to make landfall in the Carolinas. Photo by Jeremy Soulliere for Save the Children.

Please give generously to our Hurricane Florence Children’s Relief Fund. Your gift will help us respond to the unmet needs of children affected by this disaster.

Tips for Keeping Children Safe in Florence Floods

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (September 16, 2018) — As Tropical Depression Florence crawls its way westward in the Carolinas, Save the Children urges parents and caregivers to take immediate steps to keep kids safe around the flooding produced by the catastrophic storm. Save the Children is the national leader for children in emergencies, and here are our tips:

Before a flood

  • Talk about floods. Spend time with your family discussing why floods occur and how to stay safe during a flood. Explain that flooding is a natural event and not anyone’s fault. Use simple words that young children can understand.
  • Stay informed. Use a NOAA Weather Radio or listen to a local station on a battery-powered device, radio or TV. Listen for what to do in a flood warning or watch. Evacuate if told to do so or if you feel unsafe.

During Floods

  • Follow guidance of local authorities. Elected officials and first responders are most informed about affected areas and most knowledgeable which flooded areas to avoid.
  • Move to higher ground. During a flood you should move to higher ground and avoid standing, flowing, or rising water.
  • Keep 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.
  • Keep children clean. Wash children's hands frequently (always before meals) and ensure they bathe after being exposed to flood waters or flood-damaged areas.

After Floods

  • Ensure utilities are restored. Before children return to flood-affected areas, ensure utilities such as electricity and plumbing are restored. Living and learning spaces (e.g., homes, schools, child care facilities) should be free from physical and environmental hazards.
  • Limit children’s participation in recovery. Children and teens should not be involved in clean-up efforts – they should return after the area is cleaned up. Before children return, these areas should be cleaned and disinfected, along with all toys, clothing, etc.
  • Clean 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.

Save the Children’s emergency response team is positioned in the Raleigh-Durham area, delivering essential child-focused supplies for displaced children and families in evacuation shelters – including hygiene kits, portable cribs, baby wipes, toys and children’s activities – and setting up safe play spaces in shelters where children can play, learn and cope. The emergency response team is also working with national and local partners to assess children’s urgent needs in response to Hurricane Florence.

To learn more about Save the Children’s response to Hurricane Florence and how to help, please go to


Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.


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