Do you know what you would do if your family were affected by a flood? Would you be able to cope with the fallout? Would you be adequately prepared to keep your family safe? Here are some survival tips to help you deal with a flood and it’s aftermath.
First, it is important to note that not all floods give warning. Sometimes, like after days of heavy rain or a major hurricane, flooding can be expected, and planned for fairly well. But when you have sudden storms that drop a lot of rain in a short amount of time, or when a river crests higher than normal, those kinds of floods can cause a lot of damage with little to no warning.
Before The Flood
There are some things you can do to prepare ahead of time, especially if you live in an area prone to flooding. You should have a good emergency kit with first aid supplies, and food and water to last for several days. Your food and medical supplies should be stored in rubber totes or some of It is a good idea to have a pair of tall rubber boots for everyone in the home in your flood gear, too. You should also have bug out bags for everyone, should you have to evacuate. Make copies of important documents like insurance papers, passports, birth certificates, and other papers, and place them in waterproof bags to protect them. You might want to do the same with photos or other keepsake items. If you have a basement, make sure the walls are sealed, and that your sump pump is in good working condition, and that you have some items (sandbags, etc.) to keep water out if it comes to that.
During the Flood
This is where things can get dicey, especially when dealing with sudden flash floods. Pay close attention to weather reports and warnings and watch for changing conditions. A flood watch can quickly escalate to a warning and you need to be ready to move. In most cases of flooding, the best thing to do is leave before conditions deteriorate. You want to do this sooner rather than later. Before leaving your house, and even you try to ride out the flood at home, turn off the power. You should also watch for any downed electrical lines on your property and avoid them. Don’t try and drive through the flood water, and use extreme caution if you have to wade through it. Even if it doesn’t appear to be deep, the current can be strong enough to pull you down.
After the Flood
Once the waters recede, you’re going to have a mess and quite a situation to contend with. Don’t go back into your home until you have been given the all clear by authorities if you have had to evacuate. They will check to make sure the home is safe, structure wise, and that there are now live electrical wires or other dangers other than the water. Once you go back in, watch your step. There could be a lot of debris, limbs, mud, and other items that could be dangerous. You also want to be on the lookout for snakes, rodents, and other unwanted guests who might decide to come visit your flooded home. Don’t turn on the electricity or gas until you have been given the all clear, either. You will need to let your home air out by opening windows and doors and trying to get out as much water as you can. You may have to hire a professional crew to treat some of the water damage. Clean surfaces and floors with an antibacterial cleaner and use bleach to kill any mold that might be trying to form.
A flood is not a welcome event, for sure, but with some planning and preparation, you can avoid some of the negative effects. What has your family done so far to prep for a flooding disaster?