Schoharie County
Emergency Management
Flooding Info

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Hazard page

Terms to know:
  • A FLOOD WATCH means a flood is possible in your area.
  • A FLOOD WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
  • Flash floods can take only a few minutes to a few hours to develop.
  • A FLASH FLOOD WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area.
  • A FLASH FLOOD WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur VERY soon.
Steps to take before a flood:
  • Learn the safest route from your home or business 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 a itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep this list in a safe place.
  • Make a disaster supplies kit. See also the Home Disaster Planning page
  • Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Keep a small disaster kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Find out how may 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 waterproofing.

During the Flood
  • Monitor the NOAA Radio or your local radio and TV stations broadcasts for information.
  • If local officials advise evacuation, do so promptly.
  • If directed to a specific location, go there.
  • Know where the shelters are located.
  • Bring outside possessions inside the house or secure all movable objects.
  • If there is time, move essential items and furniture to upper floors in the house. Disconnect electrical appliances that cannot be moved. DO NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.
Travel with care:
  • Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
  • Follow recommended route, DO NOT sightsee.
  • AS you travel, monitor the NOAA Weather Radio and local Radio broadcasts for the latest information.
  • Watch for washed-out roads, earthslides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires and falling or fallen objects.
  • Watch for areas where rivers or streams my suddenly rise and flood.
  • DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road.

After the Flood

  • Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank. Let the building air out to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
  • Upon entering the building, use a battery-powered flashlight. DO NOT use an open flame as a source of light. Gas may be trapped inside.
  • Watch for electrical shorts and live wires before making certain the main power switch is off. DO NOT turn on electrical appliances until an electrician has checked the system and appliances.
  • Throw out any medicine or food that has had contact with floodwaters.
  • Test drinking water for potability. Wells should be pumped out and water tested for drinking.
  • If health officials declare the public water system "unsafe", water for drinking and cooking should be boiled vigorously for 10 minutes.
  • Shovel out mud with special attention to cleaning heating and plumbing systems.
  • Flooded basements should be drained and cleaned as soon as possible. Structural damage can occur if drained too quickly. When surrounding water have subsided, begin draining the basement in stages, about 1/3 of the water volume each day.

Evacuation Information Forms

General Household Evacuation Information
People With Special Needs Voluntary Registration
Emergency Animal Response Data Collection Form