Prepare for Flooding

  • Do not walk through flowing water or drive through flooded area: Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there. Also, do not disregard road barriers, the road or bridge may be washed out.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires: Electrocution is the number two flood killer. Electrical currents can travel through water. Report downed power lines to Florida Power and Light; the number is 305-442-8770. You can also report downed powerlines to the North Miami Police Department at 305-891-8111.
  • Have your electricity turned off by FPL: Some appliances, such as television sets, hold electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Avoid using appliances or motors which have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried. It’s easy to stop your FPL service in case of emergency, call 800-226-3545 to stop and restart your service.
  • Be ready for the unexpected: Place important documents inside plastic bags or other waterproof containers. Review your insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage. Know what type of coverage you have. Most policies cover wind storm damage, but not flooding. Any policy change usually takes 30 days before going into effect.
  • Look out for animals, especially snakes: Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn things over and scare away small animals. Even domesticated animals may react differently after a disaster or storm and could bite or attack.
  • Fight the Bite! Drain and Cover: Use insect repellent on skin and clothing to keep mosquitoes away while outdoors. To report a mosquito nuisance, call 311 or download the free 311 Direct Mobile App. View more information on Mosquitoes (PDF).
  • Look Before you step: After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris, including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery and create a hazard.
  • Be alert for gas leaks: If you use natural gas, use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.
  • If you must evacuate: If you are required to evacuate, try to move to the house of a friend or family member not affected by the impending high waters. If you live in a mobile home or are electrically dependent, plan to evacuate at the first notice of the emergency conditions. Rehearse your evacuation plan with all household members. Plan to leave early to avoid any traffic delays.
  • Register with the Miami-Dade County Emergency: Evacuation Assistance Program at 305-468-5402 if you will need assistance to evacuate. Discuss these tips with your neighbors and friends. Try to have a prearranged plan designating how you can contact your neighbors. If you have to evacuate, inform each other of places where you will be staying and leave contact telephone numbers and addresses.

Securing Boats

If you own a boat, it’s your responsibility to secure it. As a boat owner, you should make a plan in advance to move your boat or arrange for its storage. Check with a local marina for suitable alternatives. If possible, store it inside a garage or warehouse. If you must leave your boat outside, attach the trailer tongue to something firm in the ground, let the air out of the tires and make sure the boat is secure to the trailer, as well as fill the bilge with water, which adds extra weight.

Leaving Boat in the Water

If you plan to keep your boat in the canal, be sure to double the dock lines, leaving sufficient space for the tidal range and put out extra anchors. Don’t forget to remove all marine electronics or other unsecured equipment. Sail boaters should remove self-furling sails and Bimini tops. Boats on davits should be secured with extra tie lines and in such a manner to keep the boat from swinging during high winds.