The thought of being caught in a flood is undoubtedly very frightening, but it can happen to anyone. It is always best to be prepared and to have an emergency plan. Here are 5 tips on how to survive a flood.
1. Emergency Plan
By FEMA National Preparedness Directorate [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Never let yourself be caught off-guard and under-prepared.
Create a step-by-step plan with the members of your household and make sure everyone is informed. This will help ensure that all members of the household are educated in what to do in the event of an emergency.
2. “Turn around, don’t drown”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) created the phrase “turn around, don’t drown” to warn drivers who find themselves driving in a flooded area. It is a common mistake to underestimate the power of water; many people will assume they can drive through a body of water and then get swept away or their car stalls. It’s estimated at as little as 12 inches of water can sweep away a small car, and two feet of water can sweep away a larger car. If you are driving-or even if you are walking- and come across a flooded area, don’t take a chance. Turn around, don’t drown.
3. Get to higher ground
While it may seem like common sense to some, many people do not know that one of the first things they should do in the event of a flood is to retreat to higher ground to escape the flood water. Familiarize yourself with high points in your area. Some towns have marked destinations for such an emergency. Take note of these places and make them part of your emergency plan. If your town is offering an emergency shelter location, be sure to get there as quickly as you possibly can to guarantee your family will have adequate space inside.
4. Protect your home
By Dmitry G (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you are able to make preparations before leaving your home, unplug all electrical appliances and remove all important items from the house. It is also advised to turn off your gas and electricity. If there is already flooding inside of your house, avoid making contact with electrical objects at all costs and evacuate immediately.
5. After the flood
By Brian Stansberry (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
After the flood, do not return to your home until it’s stated to be safe by authorities. When you do return home, inspect the house for damage that may be dangerous. It is also advisable to check for pests and animals that may have taken refuge in the house before you allow anyone else to enter the house, especially pets and children. Avoid standing in water and do not turn on your electricity until the house is deemed safe. It is also a good idea to take photographs of damages for insurance purposes.
Following these tips, you will be much more prepared in the unfortunate case of a flood.