Until it happens to you, it seems impossible, but flooding is the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Here are a few flood safety tips:
FLASH means a flood with little or no warning as floods near low-lying areas and streams. Don’t ignore ongoing tropical storms or hurricanes preceded by days of official updates and alerts. Once rising water begins you should have already taken flood safety steps to keep your family and pets safe.
- When weather conditions that might trigger flooding occur, stay informed. Keep a radio tuned to a local station for flood alerts. If you live in an area designated as a floodplain, a NOAA Weather Radio that broadcasts up-to-date weather and flood warnings continuously is a good investment.
- As the risk of flooding mounts, begin preparations now. Get family members together and gather valuable irreplaceable documents if you have time. Put papers and pictures into large plastic zip locks and move as much as you can to the highest levels in your home. Pack the car. Make sure you have gas.
- All pets should have an enclosed pet carrier for use in an evacuation. Dogs too large for a carrier should have collars on and leashes to keep them under control. Take some of their food with you.
- Listen to and obey evacuation orders. If you’re told to leave your home, turn off all electricity at the circuit breaker panel, and turn off the main gas valve, too, if you’re able. Leave quickly and go to the evacuation area you are directed to.
- Don’t try to walk through flood waters. Deceptive on the surface, fast-moving water only six inches deep carries enough force to knock an full-sized man down.
- More than half of flood-related drownings happen in a vehicle. Don’t drive through flooded roadways or fast-moving water. Stop. Turn around and drive toward higher ground elsewhere.
- Avoid contact with flood water. It may contain biohazards like raw sewage or other toxic substances. Keep pets away from the water, too.
- Don’t return to your home until you are advised by authorities that it is safe to do so.
For more information about effective flood safety, read about it online and if it happens to you, contact the water damage professionals at All-Star Chem-Dry.