The Indiana State Police and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization that promotes the safety and protection of animals, issuedreminders and tips to help residents in flood-prone areas. Here are a few:
Always carry a cellphone and charger.
Pay attention to local media reports and heed warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
Never drive around barricades at water crossings.
Be especially careful at night and in early-morning hours because it can be difficult to see water and its depth across the road.
Reduce your speed in rain and never enter flowing water. Driving through water creates less tire contact with the road surface and increases your chance of crashing.
Driving through water may reduce the effectiveness of your brakes until they dry out.
If you end up in water, immediately abandon your vehicle, exit through a window and climb on top of your car. Call 911 from there and wait for help to arrive. Ride the top like a boat, as vehicles will often float for several minutes.
Be aware that road erosion can occur anytime there is running or standing water.
It takes 6 inches of water to reach the bottoms of most car doors and 1 foot of water to float most vehicles.
If you find yourself stranded in water, act fast. Get yourself and everyone in your vehicle out of their seat belts and out a window onto the roof of the car. Indiana State Police divers advise to swim for it only if you absolutely have to. Those who do try to swim should not head against the current.
Have your animals microchipped and put secure, legible ID tags on them.
During a flood, never leave your animals outdoors, tied up or confined in any way. In the event of flooding, they will be trapped and unable to flee rising waters.
In an evacuation, never leave your animals behind to fend for themselves. They aren’t equipped to survive disasters any better than humans are.
Know your emergency destination ahead of time. Shelters for human victims don’t often allow animals, but motels in the area will probably accept them in an emergency. Call destinations in advance and find out which ones will accommodate you and your animals.
Never leave animals unsupervised in a car. They can panic and try to escape or suffer from heatstroke once ambient temperatures rise above 70 degrees, even if water is provided and the windows are slightly open. Animals can also be stolen from parked vehicles.
Place small animals in secure carriers and keep dogs leashed. Frightening sounds and unfamiliar surroundings may make them bolt. Take water and food bowls, your animals’ favorite toy or blanket, a towel and enough food to last them at least a week.
Watch for other animals in need, including strays and animals who are left behind by neighbors. If you see an animal in distress and are unable to help, note the animal’s condition and location and call authorities for help as soon as possible.