SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (The Daily Dish) – The Red Cross Utah and Salt Lake Fire Department have joined forces to share important flood preparedness and safety tips with residents in Utah.

Utah is known for its unpredictable weather patterns, which can lead to flooding in various forms, including rising waterways, flash floods, flooding after fires, or Spring runoff. To help residents stay safe, it’s crucial to understand the risk and take action to reduce it.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to not assume that you are safe from flooding just because you are outside of a flood zone. Floods can happen anywhere, so it’s important to be prepared.

Knowing the difference between a flood/flash flood watch and warning is also essential. A flood/flash flood watch means that a flood or flash flood is possible, while a flood/flash flood warning means that flooding or flash flooding is already happening or will happen soon, and immediate precautions should be taken.

To stay safe during a flood, make sure to have a plan in place, which includes having a kit ready in case of evacuation. It’s also important to designate a place on higher ground that can be reached quickly, and to be familiar with the evacuation plan in case of river floods.

Residents should also avoid floodwater, as it only takes six inches of fast-moving floodwater to knock someone over, and twelve inches can carry away a vehicle.

It’s also essential to be cautious during cleanup, as many injuries happen during this process. Protective equipment, like boots, long pants, work gloves, eyewear, and an N95 respirator, should be worn to protect the lungs. Local public health officials should be consulted for advice.

The Red Cross Emergency App is a useful tool for residents to download to stay up-to-date on weather alerts and receive actionable training modules to prepare for risks most common where they live. The app is available in both English and Spanish and has a new and easy-to-find language toggle.