Before, During, And After A Flood
Floods can be devastating as regards human safety and life
and property damage. Certain areas are
much more likely to be impacted by floods, such as coastal areas, flood plains
next to rivers, and regions subject to snow melt and heavy rainfall in the
spring. Even deserts can experience
flash floods from storms that occurred miles away. Of course, not building or buying a house in
any of these areas would be the easiest solution, but this is often not
feasible for a number of reasons.
Preparations Before A
If you do have a home where flooding might be a problem,
there are steps to take that can help to make your home safer when the waters
rise. Raise your furnace and water
heater on platforms to keep them above water.
Your electric fuse box or circuit panel should be well above anywhere
water could theoretically reach. The walls
of your basement can be sealed with a water-proofing compound to help keep
water from entering, and ‘check valves’ can be used in your sewer pipe to keep
waste materials from backing up into your basement. Having a sump pump on hand is also a good idea. Make sure your emergency supplies are above
the expected water level.
What To Do During A
The most important thing to do during a flood is to keep
tuned to your radio to keep abreast of the situation. Move your valuables and emergency supplies to
an upper story of the house, and if you do not have an emergency water supply
already, fill the bathtub and any other containers with water. An order for evacuation may be given, so be
ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
If you are caught outside by floodwater, try to get to
higher ground right away. Driving
through floodwater is hazardous, and if you see rising water on the road ahead,
turn around immediately. Should your car
stall out from the flood, leave it and get to higher ground – climb a tree if
Do not step in the floodwaters, they could contain electric
wires or sharp objects, and do not let your pets go into the water, either.
After The Flood
Once the waters recede, you will have to undertake a cleanup
in your house and yard. Flood waters and
the mud they usually leave behind can be contaminated with dangerous bacteria,
molds, or viruses and you should always wear protective gear while cleaning
up. You should wear a long sleeved
shirt, long pants, rubber boots, rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a face
mask. Anything in your house that cannot
be easily cleaned or washed should be thrown out. This will include any upholstered furniture,
pillows, rugs, and mattresses. Clothing
and bedding will need to be washed in hot, sudsy water, and the clothes you
wear while cleaning should not be washed with uncontaminated clothing.
All food that is not in sealed containers must be
discarded. Cans that have been exposed
to floodwaters must have their labels removed and then be thoroughly washed
with hot water and dishwashing liquid.
Keep children and pets away from the area until the cleanup
is complete. Make sure you have a first aid kit for your children as well as one specifically designed for pets in case something does happen however. The faster you are able to
clean your home, the less likely it will be that mold and mildew will be able
to get established, creating more health problems.