Friday, March 22, 2019

20 Things About Flooding

If you've been watching the news, you know that flooding has already had a major impact on many areas of our country.  According to the Weather Channel, more historic, wide-spread flooding is still expected this spring.  Here are some tips if you are impacted by flooding:

  1. See if you have flood insurance (this is often a separate policy from your homeowner's insurance policy).
  2. Find out if you are in a flood-prone area (even if you are in a 1000 year flood plain, the predicted floods could still impact you).
  3. If you live in a flood-prone area, do tasks to mitigate any damage a flood could do to your home.
  4. Use the video camera on your cell phone and create a video inventory of everything you own for insurance purposes.
  5. If you have antiques and other expensive furniture and you have a two-story home, consider putting these valuables on the second floor in case the first floor of you home becomes flooded.
  6. Have your BOB (bug out bag) ready to go; often with major flooding you will have very little notice to evacuate so you need to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.
  7. Read all you can about flood preparedness in your city, county, and state.
  8. Get a NOAA weather radio that will alert you when potential flooding may impact your area.
  9. Put flood alert apps on your cell phone (Flood Alert, Flood Watch, weather apps, and local news/emergency alert apps).
  10. Have a bug out plan.  Where will you go if your entire county needs to be evacuated?  How will you get there?  Have you planned alternate routes if you will be driving out of your area?
  11. If you have time, prepare your home for a flood.  Bring as much stuff as you can upstairs, shut off water/electricity/gas before you evacuate, fill and place sandbags around your home, etc.
  12. Do not drive in floodwater.  You don't know how deep the water is, how fast it is moving (it takes very little fast-moving water to sweep your entire car away), or if the road is still intact below the floodwater.
  13. Have some sort of flotation devices available to help you escape if your area is prone to flooding--a jet ski, a kayak, an inflatable raft, life jackets, etc.
  14. Be aware of the most dangerous things about flooding--seeping sewage, fast-flowing flood water, and downed power lines or other electrical contact with floodwater.
  15. Avoid walking/letting the kids play in floodwater.  Floodwater has all kinds of crap in it (sewage, chemicals, etc) that can make you ill.  If you do have to travel through floodwater, get to higher ground and shower as soon as possible to decontaminate yourself).
  16. If you can't evacuate your cattle, let them loose so they can find their way to higher ground (make sure they are tagged or you spray paint ID on them so they can be returned to you).
  17. Never eat food that has been exposed to flood water, don't use electrical appliances that have been exposed to flood water, and do not drink tap water from an area that has been flooded until the health department gives the OK that it is safe to drink.
  18. If you are trapped at home during a flood, call for help and head up (upstairs or up on your roof).  Note that if you are sheltering in your attic, have an ax on hand in case you need to escape through the roof.
  19. Have the supplies and materials on hand to clean up flooded areas of your home when you return.
  20. Study up on the topic of flooding preparedness (Google flood preparedness; there will be volumes of material on the topic).

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