With more than 75 percent of declared Federal disasters associated with floods, they are the leading cause of natural-disaster losses. This accounts for almost $8 billion loss on average and over ninety fatalities in the U.S. Annual Floods every year.
While floods are known to be caused in areas close to water bodies, they can also occur in populated cities during heavy rainfalls. The first step towards ensuring safety and maximizing survival during floods is prepared and ready for any situation.
Knowing what to do before, during, and after a flood will help you limit your personal risk of injury and property damage. So here are important safety tips you can use to survive a flood..
Safety Tips you Should Follow Before a flood
You should follow these useful tips to keep yourself secure and prepared for a flood beforehand-
- You should ensure that you have a family emergency kit prepared and ready in case of any sudden and disastrous flood, with at least three days of water and food supply and more essentials.
- The best way to prepare for floods is to look out for flood warnings or flood watches to ensure safety.
- Another excellent way to be prepared is to familiarize yourself with your local emergency plans. With an idea of the emergency plans, you will know where to go for higher ground or evacuation.
- You should ensure that the furnaces, water heaters, and other electrical components of your house are well above the base flood elevation level as a safeguard against property damage due to floods.
- If it is a convenient option, you should install components like check valves to avoid floodwater from backing into your house’s drainage system.
- The construction of barriers is an excellent method to prevent floodwater from entering your building or house. With waterproofing compounds, you can further seal walls and surfaces in your basements.
- You should ensure that your drains are not clogged with any dirt or debris particles, leading to property flooding.
How to Prepare for a Flood
When a flood warning is announced in your locality, you should evacuate immediately and head for higher ground.
- If you have enough time in hand before the evacuation, you can secure your home to reduce the risk of property damage. You can move outdoor furniture into the house and move your house’s essentials to the highest level for maximum protection.
- You should turn off utilities at the main switches or valves, according to instructions. To keep safe, you should stay away from any electrical appliance in your house, especially if you are wet.
- As a safety measure, you should not walk along moving water. Six inches of moving water can sweep you off of your feet and cause harmful effects. You should ensure you are walking in relatively dry areas or using a firm stick to keep yourself grounded.
- When you find yourself in a situation where a flowing stream with above-ankle level water is coming upon you, turn around and go another way. The force of moving water can be fatal.
- If possible, you should stay tuned to the internet or radio for constant updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.
- In sudden or flash flooding, you evacuate and find higher ground immediately, without waiting for instructions.
- An added safety precaution is to steer clear of downed power lines on the street during a flood.
- You should be careful and aware of streams, drainage channels, and other areas prone to sudden flooding.
- If you encounter a flooded road while you are driving, you should go another way.
- It would be best if you prevented driving into flooded areas at all costs. If the flood levels rise around you and your car, you should safely abandon the vehicle and find higher ground.
- The force of moving water is enough to sweep off both you and your car away; hence, you should ensure safety.
Tactics to Survive a Flood
Although the worst of the flood might be over, there are many existent dangers. Here are some useful tips to remember.
- You should listen to reports and tune in for updates on the current situation of your locality. Additionally, you should try to find if your community’s water supply is potable and safe.
- A necessary safety precaution is to avoid floodwaters. Such contaminated water has harmful toxins like oil, gasoline, or sewage. Moreover, the floodwater might be electrically charged due to power lines and more.
- You should avoid moving water.
- Another way to keep safe is to be aware of areas and localities where floodwater has receded. You should avoid these areas as the roads could be weakened and might collapse under a car’s colossal weight.
- While reaching safety, you should avoid downed power lines or electrical cords on the street. It is best to report them to the power company.
- It would be best if you avoided buildings surrounded by floodwater.
- It would be best if you were cautious while entering buildings as their foundations may feature hidden damage.
- You should proceed towards safety and return home only when the authorities indicate it is safe.
- When you reach home, you should ensure that all wet objects are cleaned and disinfected.
- If you encounter a barricaded or flooded road, you should turn around and go another way.
- You should walk carefully through streets and roadways. Flood debris is often hidden and can be dangerous.
Floods cause disastrous consequences and damage to your property. With these useful tips, you can prepare beforehand and face any such situations confidently and bravely, keeping yourself and your family safe.