Archive for Monday, August 12, 2013

Five questions: Flooding safety

August 12, 2013

With a missing teen and several fatalities connected to the heavy rain and flooding last week in Kansas and Missouri, it’s a good time to talk about flooding safety. Below, Ready.Gov offers some tips.

Q: What preparations should I be making before a flood occurs?

A: Build an emergency kit and make sure you have developed a family communication plan that addresses how you will all get to a safe place, how you will contact one another if you are separated and how you will get back together. Ready.gov has an easy family emergency plan form that you can use to fill out all this information. It can then be printed or emailed to family and friends.

Q: What should go in an emergency kit?

A: Your kit should have enough nonperishable food items, water and supplies such as batteries, a flashlight and a first aid kit to last for at least three consecutive days. Go online to ready.gov for a full list of recommended items.

Q: What are some other tips to consider before a flood occurs?

A: Other tips include avoiding building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home; elevating the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk; and, if feasible, constructing barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and sealing walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.

Q: What about once a flood has

occurred?

A: Be aware of flash flooding, which can occur within minutes of a heavy rainfall. If there is any possibility of flash flooding, move to higher ground, don’t wait for instructions to move. Additionally, don’t walk or drive through flooded water. Six inches of water is enough to make you fall. You and your car can also be swept away quickly by flood waters.

Q: What if I have to evacuate my home?

A: One tip is to secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor. Go online to ready.gov for more flooding safety tips.

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