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What to do if your home floods

New York State officials issued details advice on how to deal with flooding in your home. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday as temperature rise into the 50s and rain begins to fall.

Home Flood Safety Information

• If flooding of a home or business has already occurred or is about to occur, customers should contact their utility companies to have electricity and natural gas service turned off. In the event of flooding, customers should never attempt to turn off electricity and natural gas service. As a precaution prior to any flood, customers should check their basement drains to make sure they are clear and energized wires are off the floor.

• Stay out of flooded basements. Energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard; natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger.

• To have electricity service restored once flood waters have receded: Customers should contact an electrician to make sure that it is safe to have electricity service turned on before contacting their utility. If the main fuse box or circuit breaker box has been under water, it must be inspected by a certified electrical inspector before service can be restored. Someone must be present for service to be turned on, the basement must be free of water and the electrical panel must be clean and free of debris. Customers and contractors should never attempt to turn on electricity service.

• To have natural gas service restored once floodwaters have receded: If the natural gas meter and/or regulator were under water, customers must first contact their natural gas company. If any natural gas equipment (furnace, boiler, water heater, etc.) has been under water, customers need to contact a plumbing and heating contractor to have the equipment checked. Customers can then contact their natural gas company to have service restored. Customers and contractors should never attempt to turn on natural gas service.

Additional Safety Tips

• If a gas odor is present, the customer should leave the premises immediately and then call the utility or 911 from a different location. Do not use any appliances or operate any electrical switches if a gas odor is present. Utility representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive emergency calls.

• Stay away from downed power lines. Even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly.

• Be extremely cautious when clearing snow off roofs. Also be alert to any signs that the snow load on structures could cause roofs to collapse.

Act Now To Be Prepared:

• Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.

• Develop and practice a ‘family escape’ plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.

• Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.

• Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.

• Plan what to do with your pets.

• Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.

• Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.

• Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.

• Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing.