Flooding


Danger! Possibility of electric shock in flooded areas.


  1. Call Facilities Operations Center: 203-432-6888
  2. Report. Provide the following information:
    • Location (building and room number)
    • Nature and extent of emergency
    • Source of water/flood, if known
    • Your name and the number or location you are calling from
  3. Arrange to meet responders and discuss contents of affected area, safe entry procedures, and any hazardous or unknown conditions. Contact Yale Environmental Health & Safety for advice if any hazardous materials are present or if the flooded area is a laboratory.
  4. Contact your supervisor, business/lead administrator, and/or principal investigator about the incident. Assist in cataloging valuable/sensitive assets impacted by flood. Follow-up with Risk Management for any claims.

Prolonged rainfall over several days or an ice jam can cause a river or stream to overflow and flood the surrounding area. A flash flood from a broken dam or levee or after intense rainfall of one inch (or more) per hour often catches people unprepared.

Regardless, the rule for being safe is simple: head for the high ground and stay away from the water. Even a shallow depth of fast-moving flood water produces more force than most people imagine. The most dangerous thing you can do is to try walking, swimming, or driving through such swift water.

Still, you can take steps to prepare for these types of emergencies. Have various members of the family do each of the items on the checklist below. Then hold a family meeting to discuss and finalize your Home Flood Plan.

  • Determine whether you’re in a flood area.
  • If in a flood area, is flooding covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy? (Most insurance policies specifically exclude flooding from rising water.)
  • If flooding is not covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, obtain separate flood insurance.
  • Write instructions on how and when to turn off your utilities—electricity, gas, and water.
  • Decide where your family would go in case you must evacuate. Clear your plan with the relatives or friends you plan to stay with. Also, get an extra map and mark two alternate ways to reach that destination. Add the map to your Disaster Supplies Kit.
Floods Can Take Several Hours to Days to Develop
  • 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.
When a Flood WATCH Is Issued…
  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
When a Flood WARNING Is Issued…
  • Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice.
  • If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
When a Flash Flood WATCH Is Issued…
  • Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice.
When a Flash Flood WARNING Is Issued…
  • Or if you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!
  • Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades…they are there for your safety.
  • If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.