Flood Safety and Evacuation
If you live in a mapped floodplain, you should be prepared for flooding. Additional food hazards also occur in other low-lying areas. Near small streams, there is a danger of flash flooding form severe local storms or winter ice jams.
Flash floods may occur with little or no warning. You must be prepared to evacuate quickly.
- For added information, buy your own NOAA weather radio to receive transmissions from the National Weather Service.
- Tune in to radio and television stations for evacuation procedures.
- Follow directions of emergency personnel and police officers directing you out of the area.
- Do not cross barricaded routes.
- Do not delay.
- Turn off water, gas and electricity at shut off points. Never touch the switch while you are wet or standing in water.
- Pack medications, extra footwear, protective clothing, and a change of clothes.
- Take a battery radio, flashlight, ready-to-eat foods, drinking water, and infant supplies.
- Open basement windows to let water in to equalize pressure.
- Move important or expensive items (such as documents, electronics, heirlooms, etc.) to a higher floor.
- Put small appliances in plastic bags and store in a high place.
- Lock your doors when you leave.
- Try to provide for pets and farm animals.
- To permanently floodproof your home, elevate or relocate washers/dryers, furnaces, water heaters, etc. Basement drains and backwater valves can be installed; and floodwalls can be placed around utilities.
Local Government Flood Response
The Steuben, Chemung, and Schuyler County Emergency Management Offices receive flood warnings, pertinent data, and forecasts from the Flood Warning Service, National Weather Service, or other sources. Warnings are then issued to the public by use of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Emergency Apps on mobile devices, and NOAA weather radio. Local radio and television stations cooperate in this notification effort. The broadcasters can be contacted by both telephone and radio link. Specific instructions concerning areas to be evacuated, shelter locations, and any other pertinent details will be given to the public through these communication channels. Fire sirens throughout the County can also be sounded to attract the attention of the public. If you hear a fire siren sounding for unusually long periods, residents should tune to their local radio or television stations, or a County mobile app for specific instructions related to the emergency situation. Additionally, when it is safe to do so, fire department personnel and police officers may conduct sweeps of neighborhoods expected to be inundated to notify occupants using public address systems, sirens, and door-to-door contacts.
During a flood emergency, the Emergency Management Office maintains an Emergency Operations Center for regular contact with local municipal, police, fire, and other emergency officials in person or by telephone and/or radio. Schools, industry, hospitals, Red Cross, and Salvation Army are contacted directly whenever appropriate. Data, forecasts, and recommendations are provided whenever warranted.
Steuben, Chemung, and Schuyler Counties test the emergency warning dissemination equipment and procedures annually.