A car is stuck in flood waters that have damaged a roadway.

Your donation to the 2022 Eastern Kentucky Flood Crisis Fund can help support children and families who have lost everything and are in need of support.

10 Flood Safety Tips to Keep Children Safe

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in the U.S. As much as 90% of all damage from natural disasters is caused by floods. Flooding typically occurs after heavy or prolonged rainfall, or the rapid melting of snow. 

Today, flooding across eastern Kentucky is putting children at great risk. The flooding has washed away roads and bridges, engulfed families’ homes, and many have lost power – and it is still unsafe for water rescues in some areas.

While the effects of floods can be devastating, these flood safety tips can help keep children safe.

What to do before a flood:

  1. 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.
  2. Consider flood insurance. Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage.
  3. 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.

What to do during a flood:

  1. Follow guidance of local authorities. Elected officials and first responders are most informed about affected areas and most knowledgeable which flooded areas to avoid.
  2. Move to higher ground. During a flood you should move to higher ground and avoid standing, flowing, or rising water.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

What to do after a flood:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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