SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah officials are giving instruction on what to do in preparation for flooding as Hurricane Hilary heads towards the western U.S., and is expected to affect southwest Utah.

Here’s what to do before a flood, according to Cedar City Fire:

  • Know how to monitor the hazard:
    • Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial radio or television.
  • Know what flood risks exist:
    • This pertains to your specific location. Check with local authorities to find out if you are in a flood-prone or high-risk area.
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance:
    • Homeowner policies don’t cover floods. You need a separate policy just for floods.
  • Consider options to protect your property:
    • Document personal property with photos or video.
    • Store the documentation and other valuable items in a safe place away from your home.
    • Install flood protection measures in and around your home.
  • Prepare a plan for your household.
    • Be prepared to evacuate. Plan a safe retreat and have a meeting place in case you are separated.
    • Choose an out-of-town contact for everyone to call to let them know where you are.
    • Prepare and maintain 72-hour kits for each family member.
    • Prepare and maintain an emergency kit for your car.
    • Get to know you neighbors and discuss how you can help each other.
    • Plan how to take care of pets. Emergency shelters may not allow pets.
  • Prepare to leave your home:
    • If time allows, move valuables to the highest inside part of your residence.
    • If you can do so safely, turn off electricity, gas, and water at main switches and valves.
    • Know where the gas pilot lights are and how the heating/cooling system works.

The storm’s path directs the densest tropical moisture just west of the state. However, significant moisture is still forecast along areas of Utah, particularly along and west of I-15. The western half of the state has a good chance of seeing storms while the southwest region has a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms.

A good portion of southwest Utah finds itself facing an increased risk of flooding today, with a Flood Watch in effect until Sunday evening. This alert extends from west central Utah down to the southwestern regions. Vulnerable areas include slot canyons, dry washes, burn scars, and low-lying urban zones.

The “Probable” risk of Flash Flooding persists only in Zion National Park today with all other recreational areas forecast as “Possible.” It’s advisable to avoid backcountry hikes this afternoon and evening.