The average persons guidebook to tackling a flood before it comes
Areas which are not vulnerable to flooding can at times be impacted by the adverse effects of strong storms and high winds. The weather conditions have undergone a drastic change so much so that areas which used to remain unflooded are now experiencing huge rainfall. Due to this extreme and unpredictable weather conditions, one should be prepared for any natural emergency or disaster such as floods.
Owing to the uncertain occurrence of these acts of God, you must undertake a number of measures to prevent your house from being affected with flash floods.
The primary need is to make sure that water cannot get into your home.
If you stay in an area which is prone to flooding, make sure that you cover up your windows and doors using sandbags, plywood or metal sheets. You can also prevent water from entering your home by using a silicone sealant. Measures such as these will not last for days, but may shore up your house against a short-term flood and help to keep possessions dry.
Shut off your utilities.
These utilities have to be shut down at the mains, not just for appliances. You should also remember to unplug all your electrical appliances and store them at high places, on the second floor, if possible. This is so because the water that enters your home might climb several feet but if the appliances are kept at a height they would remain safe even in such a condition.
Stay alert when it comes to your appliances or furniture.
You need to ensure that your valuable furniture and appliances are kept on high areas or upstairs.
Suppose there is no second floor, just keep those items at a higher level like on some bricks. It is advisable to ensure that curtains, carpets, and doors within the house are taken out.
To keep them from away from floodwater, store all of these in elevated places.
All personal documents, papers and such items must be sealed properly and stored in a dry place upstairs. Put these items in containers that are impervious to water, such as those used for storing food. At the least, place them in sealed plastic bags to keep them dry.
Now focusing on objects external to your hose like garden furniture, keep them in a secure place. Floodwater can easily float these items, which can pose danger to others. Use your garage, a locked building, as the most suitable place to store precious garden articles which are prone to damage. Wheelbarrow should also be kept in a garage, else it can also float away.
Follow these important steps in case a flood warning is issued.
In circumstance such as these, information is of vital importance.
Hence, keep a watch over the news for announcements or updates by listening to the radio or television. Be supportive of the emergency crews and local authorities, give them all your cooperation. If you are ordered to evacuate, you should follow them immediately to avoid putting yourself and those around you in danger.
Power lines are invariably cut off during floods, so your activities must be confined to the daytime. It is much more difficult and unsafe to do things in the dark. Torch batteries must be kept handy and in known places ready for an emergency.
Help you neighbors, especially senior citizens to prepare for such situations by sharing authentic information with them.
Try to spend as much time as possible in the house rather than exposing yourself to risk outside. Floodwaters are so powerful that they can kill while flowing strongly, therefore it is recommended that you stay inside. Remember that two feet of water level causes floating of your cars, while six inches of water is enough to drown a child.
Ensure that your pets and cars are in a safe location. As soon as you come to know about the flood alerts, relocating to the second floor of your house is recommended. Various objects might float in the floodwater so avoid swimming as it could be dangerous. These objects can hurt or trap you and you could be washed away.
Avoid contact with floodwater if possible, as it could be polluted with dirt and sewage. It really will be a terrible situation if you survive the flood and later fell ill owing to contaminated water. The frontlines of waterbodies, such as bridges, riverbanks and sea barriers are the most risky places in a flood, so just stay away from such locations. The defenses and bridges have often collapsed in the past due to the floodwater.
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David is the maintainer of Blocked Drains, a web site which contains guides on managing drainage problems. www.blocked-drains.org Please visit the site and read the comprehensive ideas on how to maintain your drainage.
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