So You’re Living in Flood Country: Flood Safety Tips
So maybe you’ve just moved to a high-risk area for flooding for the first time and need some flood safety tips, or you’re a veteran looking for some extra pointers. Either way, it can never hurt to be more prepared. In this article, we’re going to through the top tips for staying safe, alive, and well during a flood. Each year, numerous preventable flood-related deaths occur in various concentrations all over the world, so be ready to put what you read into action should the need arise.
Talk It Out
Talking and communication play almost as big of a role in flood safety as do planning and supplies. For example, having a meeting plan with your family, friends, and/or neighbors is important in case of a flood. In the midst of a rainstorm, it’s easy to get disoriented or to lose channels of communication with your loved ones as power, phone, and internet lines/cables can be disconnected or rendered useless. Another key role that communication plays is in making sure you have the latest and most up to date information. Keeping a battery or crank powered radio on hand can help ensure that you can still tune into weather and news stations in a flood in order to get information on evacuations and meeting points. As a storm or flood progresses, information may change, so always be listening.
A large amount of how well you’ll fare in a flood depends on what you have done to prepare before any disaster actually occurs. For example, using materials to build barriers around your property can help slow or stop flood waters from reaching your home or business. These come in the form of levees, beams, and even moats. Think about what will be the most feasible on your property.
If you’re sure a flood is coming, take any time you have before it reaches you to move valuables and anything you don’t want damaged to a higher floor if possible. It is also a good idea to disconnect your electrical devices and turn off your fuses to avoid damage or potential injury if your home or business electrical system gets wet in the flood. Last, but certainly not least, have a kit ready with essential items (like medication, food, clean drinking water, and first aid supplies).
In The Thick of Things
When a flood is upon you, be listening for evacuation warnings and routes, and follow them closely. The people who think they can ride out natural disasters in their homes and ignore the advice of officials are often the ones who find themselves in dire straits when it’s too late. When moving to a safer place, do your best to avoid any moving water with a strong current; very shallow rivers can knock you off of your feet and even float automobiles.
Because you’ll be very wet, make sure you are bringing with you a spare change of clothes and that they’re in something that will keep them dry. Consider acquiring items like canoeing/water sport backpacks; they’re made of a waterproof material, are excellent items for those in areas at a high risk for floods. Small expenses that you take on now can pay off in a big way down the road.
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