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Here's what you need to do if your home is flooding

It's a scary situation nobody wants to find themselves in, but could happen as Hurricane Elsa impacts the Tampa Bay area.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Elsa is set to make landfall in Florida as a Category 1 hurricane. As it approaches the Tampa Bay area, strong winds and heavy rain are expected. 

With the impacts from Elsa, storm surge could cause flooding in some areas.

So, what should you do if your house floods?

If you’ve evacuated prior to your house flooding, Ready.gov says you shouldn’t return until authorities say it is safe.

According to floodsafety.com, if you’re inside your home when it starts flooding, try to move important documents out of reach of the floodwaters.

Ready.gov says if you’re trapped inside your home when it floods, go to its highest level. Don’t climb into a closed attic, because you may get trapped by rising floodwater. You should only get onto the roof if necessary and signal for help once there.

Wear protective clothing/gear

Floodsafety.com and Ready.gov recommend you wear rubber-soled boots to protect yourself from electric shock and as a protective barrier between you and floodwaters. Wear heavy work gloves and other protective clothing to keep yourself safe from possible debris.

Reduce the risk of electric shock

If it’s safe to do so, you should shut off your circuit breaker to reduce the risk of electrocution. Ready.gov says do not touch electrical equipment if it’s wet or if you’re standing in water.

Move electronics with extreme caution

Floodsafety.com says “all electronics should be moved to high ground.” If you have an attic in your home, put them there, or secure them on top of the highest shelves in your house. However, Ready.gov says you should not touch electrical equipment if it’s wet or if you’re standing in water

Avoid drinking tap water

You should avoid drinking tap water until you get the all-clear from local authorities. Drinking tap water that hasn’t been deemed safe could be contaminated and you could risk getting an infection.

Secure your car in your garage

If possible, keep your car in a garage to help prevent it from getting swept away by floodwaters.

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