I don’t need to tell you how dangerous flooding can be. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Whether it is extreme or minor, flooding can wreak havoc on your life.
Below, we will guide you on how to be prepared for a flood, when to evacuate, and how to get your life back together after a flood.
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Related: Prepping for When Flooding Strikes
Types of Floods
When it comes to floods, there are two different types of floods that can be a problem. They are flash floods and river floods. Flash floods usually take more lives, whereas river floods cause a loss of property.
A flash flood is when runoff from excessive rainfall causes a rapid rise in water height. If you live in an area that is dry or has a rocky terrain, you are more susceptible to a flash flood. This is because there is a lack of soil or vegetation to absorb the water.
If you live next to a large river, river flooding is common. The river can rise and cause flooding when there are long-lasting rainstorms, a lot of melting snow, ice jams, or high tides.
Knowing what types of floods can happen in your area is a great way to begin to prepare for a flood before it happens.
Why are Floods Dangerous
Did you know that only six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet? The issue with flooding is not only that there is water standing in an ear, but the bigger problem is that it moves, taking people, animals, and property along the way. Here are some things you need to know:
- Floodwaters move at fast speeds that can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings, and obliterate bridges.
- Walls of water can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet, which means you need a boa to move from one place to another, including when you need to evacuate.
- Deadly cargo and debris can be moving around in floodwaters.
- Cars can easily be swept away in just 2 feet of moving water.
- Floods cause power lines to fall resulting in power outages and dangerous threats to life.
- Even small floods disrupt transportation.
- Flooding can create landslides that can be even more dangerous.
How to Prepare for Flooding
Even if you live in an area that gets minor flooding, you can still deal with the effects of a power outage, roads being blocked off, and the inability to make it to the store safely. Thus, you should be prepared for a flood or any natural disaster at home. Here are some ways you can prepare for flooding before it happens:
Know Your Flooding Risk
Do you live in an area that floods easily? What kind of flooding risk do you have in your area? You can visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to get information about flooding in your area. This will help you to know what risks you have. If you have a flash flooding risk, be sure to monitor potential signs, such as a lot of rain over an extended period.
Get Emergency Alerts
You can sign up to get emergency weather alerts on your phone. Sign up for your community warning system. You can also find out about emergency alerts from the Emergency Alert System and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the radio. It’s a great idea to have a solar-powered radio.
Purchase or Renew Flood Insurance
When you purchase insurance for your home, it doesn’t generally include flood insurance. Check with your insurance company to ensure you have flood insurance if you are in a high-risk area. If you don’t you will want to purchase it separately if you live in a high-risk area. You can get flooding insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program.
Stock Up on Emergency Items
Because you could be without power or the ability to get to the store for a few days to several weeks, you should stock up on things you will need. This includes:
- Food: Start stocking up on foods that have a long shelf life.
- Water: You will need clean water. You need to have 4-gallons of water per person per day stored. Read: How to Store Water for Drinking and Cooking.
- First Aid supplies: You may not be able to get to the doctor, so, make sure your first aid kits have everything you need. Read First Aid Kits: Everything You Need to Survive. This includes medication you may need.
Ready your Important Documents
Documents such as your flood insurance policy, birth certificates, social security cards, and other important information should be kept in a waterproof container. Additionally, you can create an Important Documents Emergency Binder so you can grab it when you need it.
Know Evacuation Routes
In many cases, evacuation is the only option. So, before you get to the point where you have to evacuate, know the routes you would take. Make a plan with members of your household as to where you would go, what you would do, and how to get everyone to a safe location.
Ready Your Car
If you live in an area where flooding can get bad quickly, you should have your car ready for evacuation. Check out Car Survival Items Needed in your vehicle so you are prepared for the event of an evacuation.
If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately. You would not have an evacuation warning if everything was ok. If you are told to evacuate, here are some things you need to know:
- You can find a list of open shelters around your area on the FEMA app.
- Listen to your solar-powered radio for instructions on how to evacuate safely.
- Leave early enough to avoid being stuck in traffic or inclement weather.
- Take your emergency documents binder with you.
- Secure your home by locking doors, shutting windows, and unplugging electrical equipment.
- If instructed, shut off water, gas, and electricity to your home.
- Contact family members to let them know where you are and where you are going.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. If you don’t, roads could be blocked off resulting in more danger.
After The Flood
After the flood, you will want to inspect your home, your property, and see if there is any damage that has been done. If there is damage, be sure to take pictures and call your insurance company right away. Getting your life back together will happen one day at a time. Begin by cleaning up what you can, calling your insurance company, and getting food and water supplies.
Once the flood has subsided, authorities will release information and instructions for returning home. Being prepared makes it so much easier to get out during a flood and be protected. Once the risk of flooding is over, here are some things you need to know:
- You may find snakes or other animals in your home. Wear gloves and boots during clean up.
- There may be a risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in the water.
- Floodwater can be contaminated. Try not to wade through floodwater if possible. Definitely do not swim in it or drink it.
Are you prepared for a flood in your area? Share the steps you have taken to prepare for a natural disaster in the comments below! May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Flooding Depositphotos_8149991_s-2019