When it comes to flood survival, it is important to know as much as you can about this natural disaster. There is no need to be reminded of the devastation caused by floods since they happen every year in our country. Properties are destroyed, lives are lost, and recovery is painful and difficult. You have two goals when it comes to natural disasters. One: Survive. Two: Recover. With the proper knowledge of flood survival, you can do both excellently. Here’s how!
Critical Flood Survival Tips You Should Know!
Before a Flood
- Remember: Where there is rain, there may be a flood. Preparing for this natural disaster is still the best way to ensure survival. Know the history of your area when it comes to flooding. Preparing before a disaster strikes will give you a higher chance of survival, plus recovery will be easier and faster. You may even save a good portion of your property. It is important to note though, life matters more than any of the property you have.
- See more at http://www.ready.gov/floods.
1. Build an Emergency Kit
This is a comprehensive flood survival kit list as suggested by the American Red Cross. You can also check this emergency survival kit list: Survival Life’s Comprehensive Checklist For A 72 Hour Survival Kit
2. Make a Family Communications Plan
Communication is essential to flood survival for you and members of your family.
3. Avoid Property Construction in a Floodplain
Try to build on higher ground to avoid being hit by floods.
4. Put Up Barriers
Build floodwalls, levees, or beams to prevent floodwater from rushing to your home, fast.
5. Seal Your Basement
- Waterproof your basement and protect it from seepage by sealing the walls, cracks, and crevices. There is a greater chance of protecting your property and yourself with a sealed basement.
6. Look for Warnings
Monitor a central weather station or local news for flood warnings or updates. Continue reading here.
7. Check Gutters, Downspouts, and Drains
Clogged drains and gutters can destroy your roof and let water in your home faster than you can save everything in it. Regularly clear your roof of debris.
8. Clear the Floor
Move electronics and furniture off the floor and transfer them to higher and secured places.
9. Roll up your Rugs
Wet rugs are bad news for your wallet and your health. Roll them up and secure them well so they don’t get wet and moldy or totally destroyed.
10. Prepare an Evacuation Kit
Secure your important documents in sealed or waterproof bags. Trying to reapply for these documents again after a calamity can be a hassle, and having these documents handy will help you when you need assistance.
11. Inspect Sump Pumps and Drains to Ensure Proper Operation
Flood survival requires many steps, like inspecting the sump pump in your basement. Get your sump pump fresh batteries.
12. Turn off the Power
One way to achieve flood survival is by turning off the power supply to your home. Turn off the main breaker of your electrical system.
13. Move your Appliances
Elevate all your electrical appliances. See more here.
During an Evacuation
- If asked to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Make sure that every person in your family has the same contact person (friend or family member) in case you should become separated during the evacuation.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio for evacuation instructions.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes.
- Leave early to avoid being trapped by flooded roadways.
Click here to know more.
Survival During Floods
This overflow of large volumes of water is the effect of many events: heavy rainfall, damaged levee or dam, or the melting of ice up in the mountains. The destructive power of floods should never be underestimated. Houses, cars, trees and even bridges do not stand a chance against the treacherous waters.
It is important to remember that there is more to a flood than water. The debris it carries are not always visible and doubles the flood’s destructive power. During a flood, going for higher ground as soon as possible could be your best chance of flood survival. Flood survival may seem impossible when everything is in deep water. These tips could help you stay safe when caught in a flood:
1. Find Higher Ground
Getting to higher ground is instinctive when there is a flood. But you also have to be smart about it. Make sure the structure is secure and stable. If you’re going up hills or mountains, watch out for landslides and flash floods.
2. Avoid Streams and Roads
Attempting to cross rushing waters or driving through flooded roads is extremely dangerous. Avoid doing so at all cost.
3. Go to the Roof
Go to the highest part of your home or the roof as soon as the water starts to rise too fast.
4. Listen for Updates
Keep a battery-operated radio in your preparedness stash. Getting fresh information about the disaster you are in is vital to your survival. Any new development will help you calculate or plan your next move.
5. Keep Utilities Powered Off
Whether it’s electricity, gas, or water, try turning them all off before the water starts coming in.
6. Stay Clean
Flood waters are almost always filled with contaminants and water-borne diseases. Whether you have open cuts and wounds or not, stay clean to prevent infection. More info available at floodsmart.gov.
7. Know Your Surroundings
It pays to check the landscape and history of your area for floods and other natural disasters. Rivers, dams, streams, and canyons are high-risk areas for floods. See more here.
8. Watch for Evacuation Orders
This is related to the previous flood survival tip. Knowing your area will help you plan your route to an evacuation area.
9. Don’t Drive Around Barricades
Flood survival is easy if you are extra careful.
10. Don’t Risk It
Stay away from a flooded road or turn around, whether you are walking or driving.
11. Evacuate Your Vehicle
If your car gets caught in flood water get out of it as quickly as you safely can and get to higher ground. Click here to view or download this quick reference guide.
After the Flood
Flood survival is also about believing that the disaster always has to end and the human spirit is stronger.
1. Check the News
Listen to news updates for warning of water contamination and safety precautions against the spread of disease or social unrest.
2. Avoid Floodwaters
Floodwaters may have not yet receded in some areas so steer clear of these areas as they may be deep, muddy, or contaminated.
3. Keep Off of Flooded Roads
Waters may have receded in some roads but it might not be safe to drive in yet. The road may have softened and could give in while you drive through it.
4. Enter Buildings with Caution
Take great caution when inspecting homes and buildings as there may be dangers lurking by.
5. Keep Your Home Clean
As we’ve stated, flood water may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals. Make sure to not only clean but disinfect your property or your things before you come into contact with them. Read more.
6. Avoid Electrical Wires
Keep away from electrical wires and knocked power lines — electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods. It is also best to report the situation to authorities. Continue reading.
7. Check for Animals
Both dead and alive snakes and other dangerous animals may have been swept with the flood. Exercise precaution when clearing up debris in your property.
8. Be Alert for Gas Leaks
Keeping flashlights handy is very important. Avoid using matches or candles to inspect your place and use flashlights instead to avoid the risk of igniting a gas-contaminated area. Click here to learn more.
9. Repair Sewage Systems
Whether in a flood or not, a broken-down sewage system poses serious health threats–more so after a flood. Make sure to report damaged sewage system to authorities and fix it first as soon as possible.
10. Disinfect Everything
Flood survival is also about getting up and moving on. Floodwater can be contaminated and affect everything it came in contact with. Clean up and disinfect everything you can still save before you use them. See more.
Here is an infographic from the CDC to make prepping a bit easier:
Getting ready and armed with the proper flood survival know-how can mean the difference between survival and demise in this kind of natural disaster (or any other, for that matter). Knowing flood safety tips and flood survival rules can lessen the impact of this natural disaster on you and your family. Whether a flood is coming, happening, or has passed, take heed of these tips to help you get through the ordeal.
What would you do yourself to prepare for a flood or survive one? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 18, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.