Flood Safety

What can you do to make sure your family and neighbors are safe during flood events?

Be prepared, not scared!

Flood events may happen only once or twice per year, but disaster readiness is a year-round endeavor. Flooding can occur very rapidly, you may be evacuating under extreme duress and potentially at night. The following preparations give you the best possible chance of keeping your family/belongings safe and recovering quickly.

Stay safe

Emergency Alert systems

  1. Sign up for Reverse 911 and Nixle to get notifications about flood events
  2. Check the Township website for up-to-date advisories and warnings
  3. Download the following free phone apps:

    1. “Pequannock Flood Watch” for easy linkage to the Township website, hydrographs, evacuation route directions, etc.
    2. “FEMA”- alerts, preparation tips, and disaster resources
  4. Tune in to radio station AM 1620 (only broadcasts during flood events)

Evacuation Routes – determine which primary evacuation road is closest to you:

  1. Route 23
  2. Newark Pompton Turnpike
  3. Boulevard
  4. Jacksonville Road
  5. West Parkway
  6. Jackson Avenue

Shelter Options. Our local shelters include:

  1. Senior House @ 530 Newark Pompton Tpk, Pompton Plains
  2. Pequannock High School @ 85 Sunset Rd, Pompton Plains
  3. Pets can go to: Pequannock Animal Shelter @ 11 Washington St., Pompton Plains

Write a Communication Plan. Check out FEMA resources to help you do this.

  1. Memorize key phone numbers
  2. Text, don’t call, loved ones
  3. Have a plan for how you will meet and/or contact family members
  4. Designate an out-of-town contact person to help coordinate communication for loved ones with spotty access to communication.
  5. Create an In-home Sheltering Kit – Store in a high and dry location: 3-day supply of non-perishable food/water, battery-powered/crank radio, flashlight, spare batteries, whistle, first aid kit, local maps, pet food, sleeping bags, toys/games/comfort items for kids, moist towelettes and garbage bags (personal sanitation), and solar phone charger

Create an Evacuation Go-kit - key documents (passports, birth certificates, home deeds, etc.), OTC and prescription medication, charging devices, change of clothes, favorite snacks, toys/games/comfort items for children

Obtain Flood Insurancewww.floodsmart.gov – keep in mind that National Flood Insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect, don’t wait until the last minute!

During a flood event

If you need to evacuate your home, some key tips to remember:

Grab your Evacuation Go-kit

Take your pets – if you can’t stay with a pet-friendly friend/relative/hotel, your evacuated pet can go to Pequannock Animal Shelter at 11 Washington Street.

Secure your property:

  1. Store valuables/delicate items (i.e. photos) high and dry
  2. Shut off utilities
  3. Lock your home

Avoid driving or walking through flooded areas. Water depths and currents are often deceptive - 6” of moving water can knock you over, and 2 ft. of water can float a car. Drowning, especially in cars, is the #1 cause of flood deaths!

Monitor the situation. After evacuating, monitor the flooding from a safe distance. Get regular updates through the Township website, Reverse 911, Nixle, “Pequannock Flood Watch” phone app, or AM 1620.

After a flood event

Stay away from flood waters. Flood water comes into contact with roads, drains and septic systems, and may contain hazardous materials and harmful debris.

Make sure that flood waters have receded and your home is stable before returning from an evacuation

Take precautions when you return:

  1. Stay away from power lines/electrical wires – electrocution is the #2 cause of flood deaths!
  2. Wear boots and heavy gloves
  3. Carry a pole/stick - to ensure the ground is still there (in standing water) and to turn over/move objects (small displaced animals, like snakes, may be hiding)
  4. Look before you step – floors/stairs covered with debris/mud are very slippery
  5. Be alert for gas leaks - don’t smoke or use candles – only use flashlights

Identify financial options for rebuilding or repair. Check with your flood insurance agent, or Pequannock’s Flood Resilience Officer via our online form, or call 973-835-5700 x164.

Have questions?

If you would like to learn more about topics like flood insurance, local flood hazards, or historic floods, we’re here to help. Reach out to speak with your local floodplain expert.

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