What is the first thing you should stock up on in the event of a flood?
Believe it or not, water is the thing you will find you need the most. Floods mean an overflow of water, but the water is usually contaminated as it collects everything in its path. You’ll need enough fresh drinking water to see you through until the flood has cleared or you have left the area. Put your food, clothing, and batteries in an elevated area to protect them from the floods.
Make your home safe from floods. Most people get injured or killed because they fail to prepare for such a devastating event. Here are some important survival tips:
Before a Flood:
- Know if the area is prone to flooding and if there’s history of floods in the community. Learn what safety measures are in set in place and listen to broadcasted information.
- Make sure the walls and infrastructure of the home or building is “waterproofed” and capable of withstanding a flood.
- Build flood barriers (sandbags, floodwalls, dig channels) to minimize water flooding your home.
- If instructed to do so, evacuate immediately and move to higher ground.
- If possible, turn off and disconnect all electrical appliances, main electrical switches and gas lines.
- Ensure you have your emergency flood kit with all needed essentials (medications, certain foods, etc.) with you.
During a Flood:
If floodwater is strong enough to carry your vehicle, trying to walk through it is a bad idea. Remember this, it takes 6 inches of strong flowing water to knock you off your feet. If you slip and fall face first, you may never come back up again. This is important to remember and consider if traveling with infants, small children, and pets. Here are some important survival tips:
- Keep the family or group of people close together. You can assist each other only if it’s safe to do so.
- Attempt to walk to higher ground only if it’s safe to do so.
- Do not walk through moving water. Use a stick or check for debris, unstable ground and deepness of water.
- Stay away from any power lines or other electrical devices as they can cause serious injury or even death.
After a Flood:
- Listen to local broadcasts for information regarding safe zones or emergency shelter locations.
- Return home only when it’s safe to do so and begin clean up efforts.
If you are in vehicle during a flood, here are some important survival tips:
- Avoid driving into flooded areas.
- Do not ignore roadblocks or detours and attempt to go around them.
- If water begins to rise around your car, roll down your windows and exit the car immediately and move to higher ground if you can safely do so.
Trapped In Your Car
If you find yourself trapped and quickly submerging, you need to act fast. Here are some important survival tips:
- Reach for your emergency tool (with glass breaker and seatbelt cutter) or multi-tool.
- If you are submerged in water, find a pocket of trapped air before getting out.
- Attempt to roll down windows. (If you can’t or it’s not working, break the window with your emergency tool).
- Get ready to swim. (There may be a lot of debris in the rushing water so protect yourself as much as you can.
These are some things to look for and take care of before, during and after a flood occurs. These precautions could potentially help keep your loved ones safe from injury or even death.
How to Prepare
Unfortunately floods tend to happen without warning all over the United States. It important to be prepared for flooding scenarios wherever you live. Floods can be caused by nature or man-made catastrophes. Hurricanes, tropical storms, levee and dam breaches, heavy rains, and melting snow can cause floods very fast and without warning. Either way, it’s good to have a game plan and prepare for the unknown.
- Get Information
Know what to do and how to prepare for floods. Know and learn what local, state and federal resources are available to you and where you can go to get help, if any. Keep in mind that resources may be limited so try not to rely on government entities to offer much help or assistance in the beginning.
- Have A Plan
Discuss and train before a flood occurs and make all attempts to be prepared as much as possible. Every family member should have a role to play and know what to do before, during and after a flood. Make sure they know the location of all emergency kits, where to meet, who to contact, their training and much more. Here are some questions to consider:
- who will be in charge and give instructions and directions on the search and recovery?
- what exits are closest to you and how will you safely get out?
- when is it a good time to start start moving around or start evacuating?
- where will you go or where will everyone meet up? Is there a rally point?
- why do we need a plan? why do I need to learn what to do?
Having a well thought out plan can have a major impact on the outcome of an emergency.
- Prepare An Emergency Kit
The kit should contain the following basic items:
- first aid/medications
- alternative energy source
- clothing (preferably waterproof)
Prepare an emergency kit (or several kits) with enough resources to last at least 3 days. If possible, keep at least 2 different kits so that family members can have options of reaching them. Take into consideration the family member count and what particular items are considered essential to survive (medications, certain types of foods, etc).
Part of being a good citizen is not being dependant on the government, especially after a disaster. Emergency services will be stretched extremely thin in the aftermath of a such a disastrous event. Preparing for an emergency allows first responders to help those who truly need assistance instead of helping you who (now) knows better and could have prepared for the unknown.
If you have a family, you are well acquainted with the responsibility that comes with caring for them. Preparing for a disaster is simply part of providing for and protecting your family. Not to prepare would be like failing to provide a warm coat for your child on a bitterly cold winter day.