Floods and swift water can be dangerous during major rain events and Huntington Beach is not immune to these natural disasters. Many residents may remember the flood in February of 1998, which caused street closures, intersection flooding, and more than two feet of water inundating a mobile home park.
PREPARE FOR DISASTER
The best thing you can do is be prepared and be knowledgeable about what to do if a flood occurs. The city has a flood information webpage with excellent information about how to properly prepare for a flood. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Because Huntington Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the federal government. If you don’t have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent.
STAY INDOORS DURING FLOOD EVENTS
The safest place to be during a flood is inside your home or business, unless you are told to evacuate by public safety officials. If you have multiple stories in your home or business, go to the second story. During a flood event, you will likely be warned by the sounding of sirens from each of the eight Huntington Beach fire stations.
DON’T WALK OR DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED AREAS
Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Currents can be deceptive. Just six inches of moving water can have the power to knock you off your feet. If you must walk through flooded areas, use a walking stick to help with your balance and test the depth of the water in front of you. Don’t drive around barriers and beware of roads and bridges that may be washed out.
BEWARE OF ELECTROCUTION
While drowning is the number one cause of death during floods, electrocution is number two. Electrical currents can travel through water. Turn off your electricity if flooding begins to occur in your home or business. Report any downed power lines by calling Southern California Edison at (800) 611-1911.
BE ALERT OF GAS LEAKS
If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your gas immediately. Do not smoke, use candles or any open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area is well ventilated.
AlertOC and ReadyOC
Sign up today for emergency notifications through AlertOC. To learn more about what to do in the event of flooding, go to ReadyOC.com.