How to Prepare for and Survive a Flood
by Christine Brockman
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If floodwaters are coming, and you have some time to prepare, use the list below to help minimize the risk to your home and family.
General Flood Precautions
Make sure you have a working radio with spare batteries. A radio is an indespensible tool for keeping in the loop about what is going on. Most local radio stations will provide updates and instructions up to and during the flood.
Prepare and emergency kit that includes food, water, and medical supplies. It should be in an easy to carry container. Some of the supplies that you will want to include will be.
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Warm clothing (waterproof outewear is recommended)
- Necessary medication
- Infant care items like diapers, diaper cream, medications, and wipes. You may also want to put a toy or two in the kit to help keep them occupied
- Personal toiletries (makeup, toothbrush, toothpaste).
- Identification (passport, drivers license, family documents)
Other Important Preparations:
- If possible, move furniture, appliances and personal belongings above ground level (i.e. second story)
- IMPORTANT: Move chemicals (pesticides, house-hold cleaners) away from the immediate area to minimize polution
- Remove toilet bowls, and plug basement sewer drains / connections with a plug (use whatever you have to)
- If possible, protect your home with sandbags (usually provided by your local government office)
If you do need to get out of Dodge, here are a few things to consider for your safe departure.
- Vacate your home when you are advised by local emergency authorities. We have all seen movies where someone is stranded and the rescue crews have to risk their lives to come back to save them. That happens in real life too, so don't ignore the warnings.
- When you leave, take your 72 emergency kit with you.
- Follow the designated routes closely. These are usually clearly marked and they are there for a reason. Ignoring them may lead you to a blocked off area or dangerous zone.
- If you can, leave a note for others when you left and where you went.
- If you are vacating in your car, try not to drive through flood waters. Currents can sweep your car away. However, if you are caught in fast-rising waters and your car stalls, get out and leave it behind.
Being involved in a flood is a terrible thing to have to go through, so be prepared; your survival depends on it.
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