Public safety experts call flooding one of the most common and costly natural disasters that homeowners can face. As with any threat, however, you can minimize your risk if you plan ahead and follow recommended safety guidelines.
To help you stay safe, ADTSecurity.com offers the following list of flood safety tips.
Make a Flooding Safety Plan
If you live in a flood-prone area, have an emergency kit ready. Recommended items include:
- A minimum three-day supply of water with one gallon per family member per day
- A minimum three-day supply of non-perishable food
- First aid and medical supplies, including several days’ worth of prescription medications
- Personal hygiene items (toilet tissue, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, sanitary wipes, etc.).
- Flashlights, a radio and extra batteries for each
- Cell phones and chargers
- Personal documents, such as photo IDs, birth certificates, deed or lease to your home, insurance policies and emergency medical information
Don’t forget the kids, or the pets. Families with babies will need to prepare their emergency kits accordingly, which means diapers, bottles, formula and baby food. Also remember to stock your emergency kit with items to keep your older children occupied during the long hours, including books and board games. If you have pets, make sure to include food, bowls, leashes and carriers.
Dress appropriately. Be sure to pack clothing and rain gear, like raincoats, hats and umbrellas.
Flood Safety Tips for Your Home
If you live in a low-lying area, take proactive steps to fortify your home. Elevated platforms can protect furnaces, water heaters and central air units, and check valves can prevent water from backing up into drains. Waterproof your basement with a sealing compound.
After flooding, do a safety check of your home. Look for damaged power lines, cracks in the foundation, ruptured gas lines and other hazards. If you see anything dangerous, contact your utility provider or the local authorities.
Flood Safety Tips for Drivers
If you see a flooded section of road ahead, do not try to drive through it. Turn around and look for a detour or a designated evacuation route. Even in small amounts, floodwaters can make driving conditions extremely hazardous:
- Six inches of water can cause you to lose control or stall your vehicle.
- One foot of water is enough to float many cars.
- Two feet of moving water can carry away many vehicles, even an SUV or pickup truck.
Follow Flood Safety Tips – and Use Your Head
Many aspects of flood safety involve simple common sense. If you approach every situation with caution and avoid taking unnecessary risks, you increase the chances that your home and family will weather the storm safely.
Flood Safety Terms
Flash Flood – Rapid flooding that takes place in less than 6 hours, usually caused by factors such as heavy rain or the failure of a dam or levee
Flood/Flash Flood Watch – When an area faces possible flooding or flash flooding
Flood/Flash Flood Warning – When flooding or flash flooding is currently taking place or will begin soon
Storm Surge – Coastal flooding associated with weather systems like tropical cyclones
Floodplain – An area close to a flood-prone body of water such as a river, lake or estuary
100-Year Flood – An extreme flooding event with a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in a given year