Floods can happen at any time, and it’s important to keep the possibility of flooding in the back of the mind. In the United States, flooding is the most common natural disaster but you and your family can be prepared.
Preparing your home
Incorporate everyone in your home, including your pets, in your flood plan. Your flood plan should have the following: evacuation routes, shelter plans and flash flooding response.
If you live in a flood-prone area, you can purchase or renew flood insurance policies for your home. However, these plans can take up to 30 days to go into effect. It’s important to research and purchase a plan if you choose to do so as soon as possible prior to a flood disaster.
Not sure if you live in a flood zone? Check out the FEMA Flood Map Service Center webpage.
Gather the appropriate supplies and plan for the power to be out.
Your supply kit should include at least the following:
Non-perishable foods (check those expiration dates)
Water (enough for each member of your family including pets)
First aid kit
Important documents inside a waterproof container
If it’s possible for floodwaters to enter your home, move your valuables to an upper level of the house. Be sure to have clean gutters and drains to improve water drainage around the home and property, too.
Should you be caught driving or walking in flooding conditions and you come to a water-covered roadway, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” It only takes 6 inches of water to knock you off your feet and 12 inches of moving water to sweep the car away. There could also be debris lurking in the waters and even dangerous snakes and insects.
Should the power go out during a flooding event, a generator can be very useful to a home. Know how to use your generator and where to place it when it is in use. If used or stored incorrectly, fires or even carbon monoxide poisoning are possible.
Know the difference between a (flash) flood watch and a (flash) flood warning. Pay attention to evacuation orders that are sent out. Having all the above items prepared prior to a flooding event allows you to evacuate sooner and get to a safer area.
Have any tropical activity or heavy rain forecast for your area? Keep a close eye on the WeatherRadar to help prepare you for possible flooding.