If we are talking about natural calamities, floods are the undisputed king. In the US, floods are responsible for more fatalities and physical destruction every year compared to tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning. To make things worse, specialists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict extensive flooding throughout the spring of 2019.
Flooding is already occurring in two major river basins situated in the higher Mississippi and Missouri regions of America. And as the Northern hemisphere recovers from winter, record snowfall and ice melt simply make things even worse. With that being said, you might want to get your game face on as the optimal means to tackle flooding is to be prepared.
Before a Flood
In the event that you are knowledgeable of an incoming flood in your area, begin at this very moment to prepare.
The secret to preparing for a flood is communication. Once every means of communication is effectively up and running, you will have the power to reach out to your loved ones anytime you want. However, the moment cell phone towers are down due to flooding damage, it’s crucial to have a backup. Set up a viable system wherein everyone involves will have the means to communicate with one another, including a location to gather around in case of an evacuation. Afterward, include a Plan B. And C.
Stock an emergency kit. The moment flood water reaches your area, having safe drinking water that can rehydrate everyone for no less than 3 days is extremely important. For this reason, make it a priority to load up your emergency kit with canned foods, as actual cooking might be out of the options for the time. Brainstorm on the possible essential things that you might need in such a crucial event, such as batteries, flashlights, blankets, rubber boots, and a first-aid kit. Having a battery-powered or wind-up radio is very important as well.
Amber Bradshaw, who succeeded in surviving the “thousand-year flood” of the Carolinas during the fall of the year 2018, shares a number of superb recommendations on her website to include on your survival kit, namely umbrellas, disposable plates and tableware, a zip-closed bag that can also serve as a fire starter, a few cash, and a handy paper map. You need to prepare a number of essential items for yourself, your family and pets as well. So once an evacuation arrives, you will be relieved on frantically loading a suitcase that is enough to cater your survival needs in the most crucial of moments since you are already packed in advanced.
Prepare Your Home and Yourself
Is flood insurance an essential need? It’s important to think about this matter seriously as insurances can take as much as 30 days to materialize. Simply put, in the event, a tornado is heading directly towards your direction, it would be too late for you to set up an insurance policy by this time. (Insurance companies are also following the weather just so you know, that’s why you will have zero chances of securing an insurance coverage once a storm is in a direct path towards you.)
Nevertheless, it is certainly possible to hire a plumber to investigate your plumbing system so you can avoid contaminated flood waters from entering your water supply. In addition to that, in case you own as a sump pump, make sure it’s in optimal working condition. And lastly, in case you have some time to spare, think about stacking sandbags to surround your home once you are aware a storm is coming.
Be aware of your risks, as well. Is your place of residence, employment or schooling situated in a location that is susceptible to flooding? In case you are unaware, know the answer right now and find out the optimal way to safe, higher ground. And at the same time, it would be great to register on RSS feeds that offer notifications regarding local flooding from The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.
Once a flood notification or alarm is activated, keep your communication devices fully charged, such as your mobile phone, radio, computer, etc. In case electricity becomes unavailable, having a fully charged gadget or battery will come a long way. Lastly, in the event that it’s likely that a flood will hit your location, evacuate immediately. You should never wait for an evacuation order to arrive – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
During a Flood
Indeed, nothing beats proper preparation however, in the event a flash flood comes crashing in before you even have a chance to evacuate, what should you do? Your best bet is to make your way to the highest ground you can reach, contact 911 and avoid flood water as much as possible. For example, never paddle across the basement or any other room wherein flood water is enveloping electrical outlets or extension cords. In case you hear crunching or exploding sounds, escape the room as fast as you can.
And never drive. It requires just half a foot or 15 centimeters of flowing flood to carry you away from where you stand, and a foot or 30 centimeters of flood water to move a car away from where it sits. As a matter of fact, more than 50% of fatalities attributed to flash floods are vehicle-related.
Regardless if your house’s water system is still completely functional, never presume that the water coming out from your pipes is safe for use. (Recall that emergency kit?) In the event that you have evacuated your home, never come back unless the authorities give the final order. The structural, power and plumbing integrity of your home might be damaged, and toxic materials and dangerous items could be creeping around any and all flood water that’s left. During this point, patience is of utmost importance. Just do nothing except to wait for the flood waters to diminish and for contractors, plumbers, and electricians to evaluate the destruction.
And contact your insurance company. Most importantly, if your area is considered liveable but power is unavailable and you are utilizing a generator as a result, we implore you to please stick to the instructions and to never turn on the equipment indoors. The main reason why carbon monoxide poisoning is among the foremost causes of death in post-disaster times is because of the failure to follow this basic instruction.