Flood Safety

floodWhen it’s been raining for hours or steadily for a few days, flooding can occur within a few minutes or develop over several hours, causing devastating damage to your home or property. Your number one defense against any natural disaster is to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you plan from a personal safety perspective and a property preparedness perspective….

– Listen regularly to your local news and your local emergency officials for any updates on the situation. Flooding can sometimes happen quickly.

– Make a safety kit that contains a flashlight and extra batteries, battery-powered weather radio, extra food and water, first-aid supplies, canned food and a can opener, water (three gallons per person), extra clothing and bedding.

– Clear drains, gutters and downspouts of debris.

– Move furniture and electronics off the floor, particularly in basements and on first floor levels.

– Roll up area rugs, where possible, and store them on higher floors or elevations. This will reduce the chances of rugs getting wet and growing mold.

– Inspect sump pumps and drains to ensure proper operation. If a sump pump has a battery backup, make sure the batteries are fresh or replace the batteries.

– Shut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets will be under water.

– Place all appliances, including stove, washer and dryer on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.

– Plan a safety escape route in case you need to leave your home quickly.

If you have to evacuate your home, be cautious as you encounter any floodwaters. Six inches of rushing water can sweep you away, and two feet of water will sweep away most cars. Remember, cars and homes can be replaced. Don’t take any unnecessary risks. Surviving a flood is a combination of preparation and taking appropriate action as soon as the natural disaster begins.