Flood Safety Tips January 23, 2017 – Posted in: Blog – Tags: Flooding Facts, safety
Basic flood safety is a must if you live in an area that can experience flooding. Flood precautions can be the difference between life and death when a creek breeches its banks, when a river pours over a dam or when heavy rains turn a low-lying area into a low-water zone. You need to know flash flood safety tips before the flood occurs given how quickly one can develop. To give you a head start, heed the following advice on what to do during a flood:
- Prepare a Kit: If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, make sure to keep an emergency kit on hand. Flooding can occur in a short period of time and seemingly without notice (hence the term “flash” flood), so it pays off if you’re prepared ahead of time. What should the kit include? Start with fresh water — a gallon for each person who lives in your home. Add personal hygiene items, a flashlight, fresh batteries, a first-aid kit, a multi-purpose tool and any other items you feel are vital to you and your family.
- Stay in the Know: As floods become more of a threat, the authorities who track them will use traditional media channels to keep the public informed. Listen to the radio — in fact, it’s a good idea to add a hand-crank radio to your preparation kit. Be sure to follow recommended safety instructions. If you are told to evacuate, don’t take any risks. Get out as quickly and safely as possible.
- Conserve Water: Even if your home isn’t damaged by flooding, access to clean water and other conveniences may be hindered after flooding. Fill all sinks, tubs and other bins that can hold liquid with fresh water before the flood comes. You will be glad to have it if your access to fresh water is cut off for any reason.
- Secure Possessions: If you have time, secure outdoors items indoors to prevent them from being swept away. If you have time to evacuate before floodwaters rise, consider taking invaluable personal items with you — things that truly cannot be replaced. However, if the order is for immediate evacuation and time is of the essence, leave everything and get out immediately.
- Grab Immunization Records: Floodwaters can spread nasty diseases. Grab any immunization records on hand for you and your family before you take off, so you know what you’re protected against and what you’re not.
- Disconnect Utilities: If you have time, protect your home by disconnecting the electricity, water, gas and other connected utilities. Shut them off at their main valves to protect your home from becoming more dangerous in a flood situation due to electrocution of gas leaks.
- Evacuate and Avoid: When you’re told to leave, you should leave immediately. Avoid water crossings, canyons and other areas that are most prone to flooding. Leave your home, avoid these areas, and do not return until authorities give the all-clear order.
- Keep an Eye on Kids: Children are especially susceptible to the dangers of flooding. They are not as strong as adults, which makes it more difficult for them to wade through standing water or maintain balance in rushing water. Kids are also curious and prone to wander off, even after you have evacuated to a shelter. Make sure you keep a close eye on your children to ensure they stay with you and remain safe throughout the event.
- Avoid Water: There are few things more powerful than rushing water. Rushing floodwaters can sweep away cars, which can be fatal to those inside. Make sure you avoid driving or walking through water at all times. It is sometimes deeper than it looks, and more powerful than you think.
- Prevent Poisoning: After flooding, many people use generators to power their homes. Make sure generators remain a safe distance from the home to ensure there is no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A flood can be an awful experience. It can wreck homes, destroy personal items and pose a threat to human life. After a flood, when you are piecing things together again, you may find a need for a professional restoration contractor to assist with cleanup. Make sure that you enlist the help of only certified professionals, and that no one enters a flood-damaged property until it has been cleared by the Fire Department or other local authority.
Are you a restoration professional? Browse our selection of water damage restoration equipment!
Have you experienced a flood at your home or business? Check out our water damage restoration guide to help you understand what to expect from the remediation process.