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 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.
How to Survive a Flood
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 that it carries are not always visible and these objects give it added destructive power. During a flood, going for higher ground as soon as possible could be your best chance of flood survival.
Remember, where there is rain, there may be a flood. Preparing for this natural disaster is still the best way to ensure survival. Whether a flood is coming, happening or has passed, take heed of these tips to help you get through the ordeal.
Before a Flood
- Preparedness is the key to flood survival. Via beforeitsnews.com
1. Build an emergency kit
Read more at ready.gov.
- To ensure flood survival, you are going to need an emergency kit like this one. Via redcrossstore.org
Flood Survival Kit list as suggested by the American Red Cross:
- Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Flashlight [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Extra batteries
- First Aid kit [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
Click here for more info.
2. Make a family communications plan.
See more at http://www.ready.gov/floods.
- Communication is essential to flood survival. Via colombus.org
3. Avoid building in a floodplain.
- Try to build in higher ground to avoid being hit by floods. Via sgcity.org
4. Construct barriers.
Build levees, beams or floodwalls to stop floodwater from entering your home.
5. Seal your basement.
Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
- There is a greater chance of flood survival when your basement is sealed. Via everdry-waterproofing.com
6. Look for warnings.
If a flood is likely in your area, listen to the radio or television for information.
Know the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning. A watch means flooding is possible. A warning means flooding is occurring or will occur soon. Continue reading.
7. Clear drains, gutters and downspouts of debris.
- Flood survival is all about preparing for the disaster. Via betterhousekeeper.com
8. Clear the floor.
Move furniture and electronics off the floor, particularly in basements and first floor levels.
9. Roll up your rugs.
Roll up area rugs, where possible, and store these on higher floors or elevations. This will reduce the chances of rugs getting wet and growing mold.
10. Prepare an evacuation kit.
Fill your kit with important papers, insurance documents, medications and other things you may need if you are forced to be away from your home or business for several days.
- Sometimes evacuation is the only way for flood survival so have your documents ready. Via penelopesoasis.com
11. Inspect sump pumps and drains to ensure proper operation.
If a sump pump has a battery backup, make sure the batteries are fresh or replace the batteries.
12. Turn off the power.
Shut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets will be under water.
- One way to achieve flood survival is by turning off the power supply to your home. Via dannychestnut.com
13. Move your appliances.
Place all appliances, including stove, washer and dryer on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
During an Evacuation
Step 1: If asked to evacuate, do so immediately.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: Listen to a battery-operated radio for evacuation instructions.
Step 4: Follow recommended evacuation routes.
Step 5: Leave early to avoid being trapped by flooded roadways.
Click here to know more.
During a Flood
- Flood survival may seem impossible when everything is in deep water. Via the-environmentalist.org
Here’s what you can do to stay safe during a flood:
1. Find higher ground.
If flooding occurs, go to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding.
2. Avoid streams and roads.
Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams or drive through flooded roadways.
3. Go to the roof.
If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic or roof.
- For flood survival, move to higher ground when your place is flooded. Via washingtonpost.com
4. Listen for updates.
Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.
5. Keep utilities powered off.
Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
6. Stay clean.
If you’ve come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.
More info available at floodsmart.gov.
7. Know your surroundings.
Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly.
- Stay away from high risk areas. Via countryfinancial.com
Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
8. Listen for evacuation orders.
9. Do not drive around barricades.
- Flood survival is easy if you are extra careful. Via baltimoresun.com.
10. Don’t risk it.
Turn around if you come to a flooded road, whether driving or walking.
11. Evacuate your vehicle.
If your car stalls in rapidly rising water, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
Click here to view or download the quick reference guide.
After a Flood
- Flood survival is also about believing that the disaster always has to end and the human spirit is stronger. Via dailymail
1. Check the news.
Listen to news reports to make sure water supplies are not contaminated.
2. Avoid flood waters.
Stay clear of flood waters, standing and moving, as they may be contaminated or deeper than expected.
3. Keep off of flooded roads.
Avoid any roads where flood waters have receded as they may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
- Flood survival requires great caution. Via q13fox.com
4. Enter buildings with caution.
Be extremely cautious when entering buildings and homes, as there may be unseen damage.
5. Keep your home clean.
Clean and disinfect everything that was touched by flood water, as it can contain sewage and other contaminants.
6. Avoid electrical wires.
Keep away from downed power lines and any other electrical wires — electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods.
7. Check for animals.
Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours, or in debris left on your property.
Use a pole or stick to poke and turn things over and scare away small animals.
8. Be alert for gas leaks.
Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated.
Click here to learn more.
9. Repair sewage systems.
Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
10. Disinfect everything,
Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
- Flood survival is also about getting up and moving on. Via howtogetrid.org
Here is an infographic from the CDC to make prepping a bit easier:
- Click here to view the larger image.
For awesome survival gear you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!
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