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Flood Risk Assessment and Management

Floods are the most frequently occurring natural disasters.They can happen year round and are most often caused by torrential rains, heavy snowcaps melting too quickly, obstructions of water drainage systems, and rarely, failure of a natural or man-made dam.

Quick Facts about Floods

  • A torrential rain can provoke floods, particularly when the ground is already frozen or saturated from previous storms.

  • A flash flood, which leaves very little warning time for people, can be caused by hurricanes, violent storms, or ruptured dams.

  • Too many home owners are caught without proper house flood insurance when disaster strikes.

  • All rivers flood at one point in time.Inhabited lowland areas can sustain significant damage if a flood occurs.

Preparing For A Flood

To Reduce the Likelihood of Damage

  • Reinforce the caulking around basement windows and ground-floor doors.
  • Ensure that drains direct water far away from your house’s foundation and drain in the opposite direction.
  • You can also equip your home with a sump pump and one-way drainage valves.
  • Don’t store important documents in your basement.Instead, keep them safe on higher-level floors that will be less susceptible to flooding.
  • If you are a farm owner, remember that livestock have the natural instinct to move away from floodwaters.Generally, they’ll attempt to take refuge on higher ground if possible so it is important for you to provide your livestock with access to elevated ground.If you fail to do so, your livestock are more likely to break through enclosures and drown in the floodwaters.Their initial reaction will be to panic and this makes them harder to manage.
If You Are in A “Flood Warning” Area
  • Shut down the heating system in your basement as well as the gas valve outside your house.
  • Take further precautions to protect heating systems that are electrical, propane, or natural gas.
  • If you have enough time, contact your electrical company to obtain specific directions on your particular system.
  • Don’t attempt to cut the electrical power unless the area around the fuse box is completely dry.When cutting the power, stand away from the box and turn your face away.Bring a rubber flashlight with you.
  • In case of flooding on a farm, barricading the livestock in a barn should be avoided.It’s preferable not to confine the animals as the floodwaters could drown them if they are trapped.
  • If you plan on evacuating your livestock, plan out your evacuation route and location in advice.Routes used to evacuate animals should not obstruct routes used to evacuate people.You should also have a backup route in case your planned route is inaccessible.You need to plan where you’ll bring your livestock and discuss with the owners to make sure they accept animals.

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