Floods can strike quickly, therefore, preparedness can save homes and lives. In the case of flooding, it's important to know how to evacuate and what to take. |
If flooding threatens your area, listen to the radio or television for weather reports and evacuation notices, and follow the directions of local authorities.
The Five P's of Immediate Evacuation
People and Pets – And other livestock too
Papers – Important documents
Prescriptions – Medications, eyeglasses and hearing aids
Pictures – Irreplaceable memories
Personal Computer – Information on hard drives and disks
Prepare for Flooding
* Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if you live in a high-risk area. * Install "check valves" to prevent floodwaters from backing up into the drains of your home. * If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building, and waterproof basement walls. * Property insurance often does not cover flood damage. Talk to your provider about your policy and consider additional coverage. * Build a kit of emergency supplies and a portable kit in case of evacuation.
Plan to Evacuate
* Plan how to leave and where to go if an evacuation is advised. * Confirm family meeting places within and outside the neighborhood. * Identify places you could go - a friend's home in another town, a motel or public shelter - in an emergency. * If you have a car, keep a half tank of gas in it at all times. * Become familiar with alternate routes and means of transportation that lead out of your area. * Take your emergency supply kit. * Lock the door behind you. * Tune a battery-powered radio to a local emergency broadcast station; follow all emergency instructions. * Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
If time allows: o Call or email the "out-of-state" contact in your family communications plan. o Tell them where you are going. o Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going. o Check with neighbors who may need a ride. * Do not walk through moving water. Look for areas where the water is not moving. What might seem like a small amount of moving water can easily knock you down. * Do not drive into flooded areas. If your vehicle becomes surrounded by rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground. * Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of electrocution.
Maintaining Your Disaster Supplies Kit
Maintaining a disaster supplies kit is as important as putting one together. Here are some tips to keep your supplies fresh:
* Keep canned foods in a dry place where the temperature is cool. * Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect it from pests and extend its shelf life. * Throw out any canned goods that become swollen, dented, or corroded. * Use foods before they go bad, and replace them with fresh supplies. * Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front. * Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers. * Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change. * Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, a camping backpack, or a duffel bag.
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