Flood Dangers and Water Safety



When it comes to hurricanes, wind speeds are not the only danger. Hurricanes also produce storm surges, tornadoes, and often the most deadly of all - inland flooding. Inland flooding can be a major threat to communities hundreds of miles from the coast as intense rain falls from these huge tropical air masses. Since the 1970s, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half of the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States. Typically, greater rainfall amounts and flooding are associated with hurricanes that have a slow forward speed or stall over an area.


  •  When you hear hurricane, think inland flooding.
  • Determine whether you live in a potential flood zone.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Watch Live 5 News and live5news.com for the latest on road conditions.
  • Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
  • Do not attempt to cross flowing water. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Have flood insurance. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance so check your policy.


After a hurricane, your water service may be temporarily unavailable or you may need to purify tap water before drinking it. High winds may disrupt operations at the treatment plant and broken water mains can interrupt service. Local water management services will work quickly to restore your service, but it is a good idea to be prepared by storing drinking water and knowing how to purify water.

Store tap water in clean, tightly covered containers in a dark area. Count on each person using three gallons per day for drinking and non-drinking uses.

If tap water is not safe to drink, your local water management service will alert customers by issuing a 'boil water advisory' to every television and radio station. If in doubt, purify tap water before drinking it.

There are several ways to purify water:

  • Boil vigorously for at least one minute.
  • Use water purification tablets - available at grocery/drug stores.
  • Use eight drops of unscented liquid household bleach (hypochlorite, typically 5.25%) per gallon of water and let stand for 30 minutes before using. Do not use granular bleach- it is poisonous.