Assemble an emergency kit. It should include essentials that you can “grab and go.” This kit should include water, non-perishable food, a hand-crank radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, a cell phone charger, a first-aid kit, a multi-tool, sanitation items, important documents and clothes.
Have an emergency plan for the entire family. It is best to have a designated meeting area in the event an evacuation is required. Choose a location that will be safe and clear from the flooding.
Know the dangers of flooding in your area. If you are unsure, the federal government has flood hazard maps available at fema.gov. Using these can help determine historically what the threat is in your area.
As a general rule, install items such as your water heater and furnace on elevated platforms to better protect them.
Install a sump pump with backup power.
Keep your tetanus shots up to date. Even small puncture wounds during flooding can lead to serious infections.
Anchor any fuel tanks or structures such as sheds to keep them from being swept away.
Turn off all power and disconnect all appliances.
Move furniture and important items to higher levels in the house, if possible.
Install “check” valves to protect your water lines from backing up with flood water.
Bring all outside lawn furniture into the house. Along with protecting it, this will keep the furniture from becoming a debris hazard.
Sandbag doorways and basement windows. Sand and bags are generally available from emergency services at established central points during a flood.
Make plans to deal with pets before flooding becomes dangerous.
Make sure all underground tanks are secure and sealed.
Pack items you are unable to take with you.
Listen to emergency updates on the flooding and follow official directions.
Make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas. Fuel will not be available for some time following a flood.
Don’t drive into flooded areas. Dangerous debris under the surface can damage your vehicle to the point it will not run.
Try to avoid contact with flood waters if possible. Sewage, oil and other contaminants will fill the waters very quickly.
Do not walk through flowing flood waters. Depths of only 6 inches can cause you to lose your balance. Additionally, the ground under the flow may become soft enough to cause you to sink and get stuck.
Flood water can be a destructive and deadly force. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you should take the time to be prepared.
Let’s look at the top 20 things you can do to prepare your home and family in event of one of these dangerous natural disasters.
This article was originally published in SURVIVOR’S EDGE ™ Winter 2015 magazine. Print and Digital Subscriptions available here.
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