A flood can have truly devastating results. You can lose a large part of your home and people can get hurt. This is why when you live in an area that is prone to such events, you need to know how to stay safe when a flood happens. Fortunately, what you have to do is not that complicated.
What Should You Do Before The Flood?
Just as when you want to stay safe as you camp, it is important to be prepared before a flood happens. The very important things to do are:
- Draft A Plan – Natural disasters like hurricanes will require people to leave their homes. It is very important to have a good evacuation plan in place. Your entire family or basically anyone living in the home should know it. When you know details (for instance, what route to take), it is very easy to react. You should know how to quickly reach the higher ground and what risks your home is exposed to. This will save a lot of valuable time, will reduce stress, and, in extreme situations, it will save a life.
- Make sure essentials are on hand – You need to have a minimum of 3 days of drinkable water, plenty of non-perishable food, and the medications you require so you have no problems as you wait for the rescue teams. You should also have some spare batteries, flashlights, blankets, rubber boots, gloves, first-aid kits, and even a radio (battery operated).
- Prepare the family and the home – Whenever a storm is coming and flooding is a huge possibility, you need to have your bags packed. They have to be ready so you can leave as fast as possible. When available, use large sandbags so you create a barrier that can cover the home’s lowest areas. Then, charge your essential electronics. This includes your smartphones since you have to anticipate that you might lose power.
- Follow the orders of the authorities – Whenever possible, evacuate if this is what the authorities tell you to do. Before you do this, if you can, disconnect all appliances and utilities before leaving. This minimizes the risk that a fire will start. Use the circuit breakers to shut off the electricity supply.
What Should You Do During The Flood?
When the flood hits, your main focus should be safety. The main rules to respect are the following:
- Remain Informed
This is why you need the battery-operated radio we mentioned below. It lets you learn about the weather and hear local news. This is basically your main information source so you know exactly what happens outside the business or the home. Be careful to listen for instructions so you know if you have to leave or not.
- Avoid Walking Through An Area That Is Flooded
When caught outside and the flood started, make sure to not wade through rushing waters. This is because the current can be swifter than anyone realizes. It is so easy to end up knocked down and then swept away even if the water is just a few inches high. The best thing you can do is to move towards higher ground. Do this as carefully and as fast as possible.
- When In A Vehicle, Avoid The Flooded Areas
Any portion of a road is very dangerous when it is flooded and it has to be avoided at all costs. You might see drivers go through these areas but you should always think about safety first. Just drive in the other direction. You simply cannot know if the area is flooded and you cannot anticipate that the car is going to be able to safely go through. The water level might be shallow and the vehicle might still end up being swept away when hit by floodwaters.
- Quickly Abandon Stalled Vehicles
It is always possible that your vehicle ends up disabled as the flood happens. When this happens, simply get out. You should never try to get out and then try to move the vehicle. This will just waste time you are much better spending to get away from a zone that is dangerous.
Your car is not safe, no matter what you might think right now. When a vehicle starts to float, it ends pushed to the side. This is a danger of ending up flipped as the rushing water comes in. If the vehicle is flipped over, there is a good possibility passengers will end up trapped. And at the very least, you might be faced with hypothermia because of frigid water exposure.
- Quickly Abandon The Area If You Are Instructed To
This is something some people do not want to do since they do not want to abandon their home or their vehicle. Do not make such a mistake. If the authorities instruct you to leave, you have to follow instructions. It is even possible that a specific route will be mentioned to get to a safe area. Just follow that route. When you follow another one, it is very possible you end up in a completely unsafe situation. Make sure to have the radio on you to be aware if instructions change and to learn about the roads that might have been closed as the flood continued. If you drive, do buckle up and be very careful.
Safety – The Most Important Thing
The most important thing to learn about how to stay safe when a flood happens is that you have to be as safe as possible at all times. Safety is basically the only thing that should be in the back of your mind.
Try to get your entire family as far away as possible from the flood. Being in a safe location is all about taking into account what the authorities say and being prepared before the flood happens. It will be tempting to save some of your possessions before you leave but this can quickly turn into a horrible mistake. Items can always be replaced but your life cannot.