If you suspect the onset of flooding, the first thing to do is turn off the electricity or gas.  If possible, move valuable contents upstairs or to an elevated area.  Since you will probably not have much time to act, it is a good idea to have a flooding checklist ready to make sure you don't forget anything valuable or essential.

Stay Away from Flood Waters

Yes, the number one cause of death during floods is drowning.  High water often conceals storm drain inlets and washed-out roadways.  The currents in these areas can be powerful, and it doesn't take much-moving water to make walking impossible.  Driving through a flooded area is dangerous and expensive.  More people drown in their cars than anywhere else, so do not drive through flooded intersections, drive around.

Water on Roads

Street flooding makes ditches and road washouts hard to see.  Another important reason for avoiding flooded intersections is the potential damage to your car.  Many newer cars draw air - thus water - from as low as ten inches.  This water can ruin your engine quickly.  Saltwater from ocean storm surges - common in Key West - will likely ruin most cars driven through it.

Electricity & Gas

Do not approach electrical lines.  Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, and is the second cause of death in floods is electrocution.  Never use electrical equipment or appliances that are wet.  Some electrical devices store electricity even after unplugging and are potentially dangerous.  Report emergency service outages to Keys Energy 305-295-1010.


Check for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to check for damage to gas appliances and supply lines. In case of a flood, you should turn off your gas.

Watch Your Step

Pay attention to where you are walking.  Flooding leaves trash, including broken glass, nails, and mud.


Be alert for animals.  Beware of snakes and insects.  Flooding displaces small animals so that they may look for higher ground in and around your house.