If you live in an area that is frequently flooded, it’s worth knowing some rules to be prepared for the unexpected.
Step 1: Safety First
- After receiving a warning about the threat of flooding, inform your loved ones and neighbors;
- Check with your local authorities for an evacuation plan and location of shelters. Often refugee shelters are located in schools;
- Remember the boundaries of possible flooding and elevated, infrequently flooded areas in close proximity to residences, the shortest routes of travel to them;
- Memorize storage locations for boats, rafts, and construction materials to make them.
Step 2: Be Prepared
- Prepare in advance all important documents, as well as documents proving your identity, store them in waterproof bags;
- Prepare a supply of warm clothing for all family members, as well as blankets to keep the whole family warm;
- Gather food and water for several days, as well as necessary medicines, including first aid supplies;
- Pack all of the above in advance in an emergency kit that also includes a flashlight, batteries and cash, as well as a means of communication – a mobile phone or radio.
Step 3: Prevent Flood Damage
- Board up (if necessary) windows and doors of the first floors of houses with boards or plywood;
- Turn off water, gas, electricity, put out the fire in stoves and fireplaces;
- Move valuable objects and things to the upper floors of the building (attics) or raise them off the ground;
- Install a sump pump and test it to make sure it’s working properly.
Step 4: How to Behave in a Flood
- Do not panic and have a plan;
- In the event of a flash flood, ascend as quickly as possible to the top floor of the building or the nearest elevation, taking warm clothing, shoes, blankets, food, water, and medical supplies with you. Gather anything you can use as a floatation device (tires, cameras, planks, logs, etc.).
- At the approach of rescuers calmly, without panic and fuss, with observance of precautionary measures, move to the watercraft. At the same time strictly adhere to the requirements of rescuers, do not allow overloading of floating facilities.
- Independently get out of the flooded area is recommended only in the presence of such serious reasons, as the need for medical assistance to victims, the continuing rise in water level, with the threat of flooding of the upper floors (attic). In this case it is necessary to have a reliable means of swimming and know the direction of movement. While moving out on your own, do not stop signaling distress.
Step 5: Dealing With the Consequences
If your home or property was hit by the elements, you need to get professional help as soon as possible. You will need water pumping, cleaning, mold prevention, and other services. You may need to repair walls, remove mold, and clean ventilation systems; change upholstery and carpets. This should not be delayed, because the longer you wait, the worse the damage will be to your home.