France: Orange Flood Alerts
NATURAL DISASTER WARNINGS
Seven French departments remain on orange alerts for flooding, as experts warn that floodwaters continue to rise along several French rivers.
Meteo-France lifted a warning in Landes early on Monday, February 8. Still, they maintained the orange alert level - the second-highest - for Charente, Charente-Maritime, Maine-et-Loire, Oise, Saône-et-Loire, Seine-et-Marne and Somme.
For more information about how to stay safe, please see our safety ADVISORY.
Safety Tips – Floods
Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is usually dry. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering floodwaters can lead to injury or death!
What to do
- Move to higher ground or a higher floor
- Prepare emergency supplies (First Aid)
- Prepare an emergency food and water supply
- Listen to your local radio or television station for updates
- If you have an internet connection monitor live news
- If evacuation appears necessary: turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
- Have an emergency escape plan ready
- Charge cell phone
- If you feel threatened by rising water, leave your home or move to upper floors
- Unplug all electrical items and store them away from floodwaters
- Move all inhabitants and pets to safe locations
- Use the internet, radio and local media for news updates
- Beware of and watch for structural damages, such as falling walls and ceilings
- Store any irreplaceable family items and important documents somewhere safe
- Avoid low spots, like ditches, basements, or underpasses
- Stay off the bridges over fast-moving water
- Don’t drive through floodwaters. If stuck, exit the car and move to higher ground
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water
What to do After
- Avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water
- If you evacuated: return to your home only after local authorities have said it is safe to do so
- Listen to water advisory from local authorities to find out if your water is safe for drinking and bathing
- Avoid moving water
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded
- Check for structural damage before going inside
- Begin initial clean-up as soon as waters recede, separating damaged from undamaged items
- When cleaning, wear a mask, gloves and coveralls to minimize exposure to possible hazardous materials
- If trapped, try to contact 112 and stay by a window to attempt to signal someone outside.
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters
- Do not eat or drink anything exposed to the likely contaminated floodwaters
- Do not use potentially contaminated water for washing or food preparations
- Do not leave doors and windows unlocked when leaving your property due to high incidences of looting
- If you must walk in water, wherever possible, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you