People usually associate floods with sea swells, overflowing rivers, and extreme tropical storms. However, it is vital to understand that these events can occur in areas far from water bodies. It’s 2023, and it is common for cities, states, and even countries to get flooded during heavy rain.
The most recent and extreme examples of heavy rain-induced flooding are Pakistan and Greece. Both countries experienced record-high heavy rain floods. Recently, Detroit and Las Vegas received a severe flooding and rain sweeps with more than 20 million on high alert. Flooding forces people in Northern Massachusetts residents to evacuate.
Floods can also be an overflowing river, a failed dam, a hurricane, or a tsunami that can lead to flood, and people often get a short warning window. It makes it all the more important to be aware of how you can keep your family and precious belongings safe before, during, and after a flood.
When a potential flooding event looms over a city or an entire state, it is wise to prepare and take some time to focus on elements that will give you a sigh of relief.
Before you jump into how to prepare for a flood, tips, and considerations, understand that there is more than one type of flood. A flood event involves an overflow of water and covers dry places.
Now, flooding can stem from a river bed or turn into flash flooding. When it comes to dry areas, flash floods are quite common since soil cannot absorb too much moisture. Next, water rapidly moves to the surface, creating a torrent of fast-moving water.
If you’re wondering about “when” you can expect a flood season, know it doesn’t have a specific season. However, high flooding risk usually occurs from spring to fall season.
Apart from spring and fall, remember that natural and man-made disasters can trigger flooding at any time of the year. A natural flooding event like a tsunami can lead to severe flooding.
Let’s dive into the best considerations, tips, and practices to prepare before, during, and after a flood.
Before a Flood
Create an Actionable Plan
Your flood plan is a combination of directions you can take in the event of a flood. Cross-reference key details of the plan with the Fire and Police departments to make sure you’re on the right track. Start preparing now if you know a flood is about to hit your area.
Here’s the checklist you can use to prepare for a flood beforehand:
- Figure out who and how you will contact and reach a mutual agreement on where you will meet.
- Seek council on whether or not you can bring pets to evaluation facilities.
- Maintain a list of important contacts on a piece of paper.
- Consider what you should and shouldn’t move. Make sure to move valuable personal items like family videos and pictures to a safe spot.
- Prepare a contingency plan for moving your cars, furniture, and pets during a flood. It can also include garden plants and electrical equipment.
- Determine who is more likely to reach out and then ask for help.
Moving to a Higher Ground
If you reside in an area where you need to move machinery, irrigation equipment, pumps, and livestock to higher ground, do it before the flood hits. Make sure to raise your water heaters, electrical devices, and furnaces over the base flood level.
Find out the possible flood heights that would impact your property and what higher ground would be safe. However, know that a higher ground can get isolated if the flood water keeps rising. If there’s a chance you may get isolated because of flood waters – mark the name of your real estate property using paint in large and bold letters.
Get Flood Maps
You can get floodplain maps before the flood to learn about dangerous areas. Flood plain maps highlight information based on historical floods and serve as valuable guides. You can reach out to your state or territory service emergency to learn about local plans, evaluation routes, warning systems, and additional support and assistance to better prepare for flood.
Learn about Flood Warnings Systems
Before a flood strikes – figure out the mechanics of flood warning systems. It will help you better understand the forecasted warnings the Meteorology Department issues. It will also allow you to get suitable flooding advice and make logical and calculated future plans.
On top of having an emergency plan, understanding flood risk, and familiarizing yourself with local or regional emergency plans, consider getting flood insurance.
Avoid Water Seepage
Seal your basement walls to avoid potential water seepage. You can install standpipes or valves for backflow on your sewer lines so that water doesn’t build up in your house.
Create a checklist of supplies before the flood:
Portable Power Station
A portable power station like Growatt VITA 550 is ideal to charge phone and radio. It packs a battery that has over 3,000 life cycles. It can do solar charge within two and a half hours and AC charge in one and a half hour. In a flood event, you can use its 11 outlets to power your essential devices. You can also remotely control VITA 550 through app easily.
Emergency Flood Kit
Build an emergency flood kit. It can include water, non-perishable food items, food can opener, essential medications, extra glasses, baby needs, family documents, and flashlights.
You should also get extra batteries, a first aid kit, car and house keys, important documents, extra cash, a mobile device, pet medication and food, and items related to personal hygiene.
During a Flood
This is the time when you act on your emergency plan. Your starting point should be to take basic safety measures.
- Collect essential items and take them to a higher ground for potential escape.
- Fill out saucepans and jugs of clean water
- Make sure the household individuals are in the safe zone
- Turn off electricity, water, and gas supplies “if” it is safe. Don’t directly touch electricity sources during flooding, especially when standing in a body of water.
- Prioritize the safety of family and loved ones during the flood.
- Keep your radio open to listen for updates and call the local floodline.
- Listen closely and be attentive to emergency rescue service professionals for safe evacuation.
- Since flood water can increase quite fast – reassure your family and stay calm
- Avoid under-the-water power lines.
- Do not attempt to drive during flooding because vehicles get easily swept away.
- Stay vigilant about localized water flooding.
- Always remember that flood water can be toxic and dangerous.
- Protect anything that you can during the flooding. However, evacuate when evacuation authorities tell you to.
After a Flood
- Return to your home “only” when rescue officials tell you to.
- Don’t try to drive across the flooded water body.
- Don’t stand in the water as it might have an electrical charge from underground power lines.
Assume Structural Damage
Flood recovery starts with understanding potential structural damage to not just your property but an entire flooded area. So, consider that floodwaters can erode walkways and roads, and be more cautious on your way home.
Get Ready to Deal with Insurance
Take pictures of the damage to your valuable items and real estate property to file an insurance claim. Make sure to share these pictures with the insurance loss adjuster.
Use Protective Gear
Once the flood water clears up, wear a face mask and gloves so you don’t contaminate yourself with animal waste, chemicals, or sewage water. Make sure to get the property disinfected and cleaned with usual household products.
Prepare for Future Floods
Take additional steps so that you can protect your household from future floods. You can work with building contractors to improve the foundational structure of your property.
Depending on where you live, find out which elements can cause floods. Focus on standard practices, tips, and considerations to protect your family and loved ones in the event of a flood.
Before the official emergency comes into play, you should take your time to plan and prepare. Ask as many questions as possible to seamlessly navigate before, during, and after a flood.
The recommendations provided in this article are for reference purposes only. When you face the threat of a flood, assess and prepare based on your specific circumstances. Also. heed, the final instructions and guidance issued by local government and emergency authorities. It will ensure your personal safety and of your community. Flood is a dangerous natural disaster, and it is utmost important to follow official guidance.