Emergency preparedness and disaster preparedness are often second thoughts to our everyday living. Many times we do not understand what goes into disaster planning or having the emergency preparedness necessary to ensure that we minimize our health and safety risks. Disaster preparedness is increasingly important as we experience natural and man-made disasters at a growing rate. Our national security risks have also contributed to why we need to plan for emergency and disaster situations.
Strong tropical storms and hurricanes often cause flooding, even in areas that are not prone to such an event. With the extreme weather conditions that we are facing today, everybody should be prepared for anything, particularly flooding.
Here are the things you need to do to safeguard your home for flash floods:
Prevent water from entering your home
If you are expecting heavy rains or storms to hit your locality, particularly if you live in a flood-prone area, you should cover your doors, or even windows, with metal sheets, sandbags, or plywood. You can also use silicone sealant to ensure that water will not enter your home.
Shut off your utilities
You should remember to turn off all your utilities, such as gas, electricity and even water, at the mains. You should also remember to unplug all your electrical appliances and store them at high places, on the second floor, if possible.
Be mindful of your appliances and furniture
You need to ensure that your furniture and appliances are kept on high areas or upstairs. If you do not have a second floor, you can just raise such items on blocks or bricks. Be sure to remove carpets, curtains and even internal doors. Store them all in high places to ensure that they are protected from water.
Important papers, pictures and other personal items should also be placed on higher grounds, particularly on the second floor of your house. If not, you should put important papers on sealed bags to ensure that they are protected from floods.
Make sure that all objects outside your house, such as rakes, are kept in a safe place. Floodwater can easily float these items, which can pose danger to others.
Here are important things you need to do once you a flood warning has been issued:
- Information is crucial during situations like these. Thus, you need to always listen to the radio for announcements and updates.
- Be sure to cooperate fully with local authorities and emergency services. If they require you to evacuate, follow them and do not dillydally.
- Since electricity will almost certainly be unavailable, you must ensure that you do all the things you need to do during the day. It is much more difficult and unsafe to do things in the dark.
- Share the information with your neighbors, particularly the old people, so that they can also prepare themselves.
- Be sure to stay inside your house. Floodwater can kill, especially when it is raging, so do not attempt to go out. It is important to note that rapid flowing water that is six inches high could make you fall, while two feet of water could make your car float.
- Ensure that your pets and cars are in a safe location. Once you heard of flood warning, you should stay on the second floor of your house.
- There may be objects floating in the water, so do not attempt to swim through a raging flood. You can either be swept away or be knocked over by objects that are in the water.
- Floodwater may be dirty and contaminated with sewage, so you should avoid contact if possible. It would be a shame that you survived the flooding but fell ill because of contaminated water.
- River bridges, sea defenses, and riverbanks are very dangerous places to be in during floods, so be sure to steer away from them if possible. There have been many cases wherein floodwater have destroyed or collapsed bridges and defenses.