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Archive for the ‘Flood’ Category

Flood

Posted by Shamn on 10/01/2009

A lot of people are not prepared for a natural disaster or even know how to prepare.  After watching the effect of typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines, I am just speechless. We just don’t expect this kind of disaster.  We know that disaster can strike anytime and it’s even sad just to think about that.

 Here, I found some good information on how to prepare before, during and after the flood:

Flood: Know Your Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a flood hazard:]
Flood Watch:
Flooding is possible. Tune in to Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flash Flood Watch:
Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flood Warning:
Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Warning:
A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

Before a Flood Strikes

Step 1     Call your local “American Red Cross” office to assess your home’s flood risk.
Step 2     Put together a supply kit including battery-powered flashlights and radio, first aid and medications, rain gear and warm clothing, sleeping bags or bedding, several days worth of canned foods and bottled water, and any other personal items you must have for health and safety.
Step 3    Form a family emergency/evacuation plan. Make sure everyone knows where to go in the event of a flood warning. Make a list of those places you could go–houses of family or friends, shelters or other safe public buildings on higher ground. Provide each family member with a written list of the locations and phone numbers, preferably in order, from first to last resort.
Step 4     Check with your insurance agent on whether or not flood insurance is available for your home. Consult a professional when making flood insurance decisions.
Step 5      Elevate your water heater, furnace and electrical panel to minimize damage if they are in flood-prone areas of your home.

During a Flood Watch or Warning

Step 1     Fill your car’s gas tank at the earliest suspicion of flood-producing weather or conditions. It will be your quick getaway if the time comes.
Step 2    Move what furniture and valuables you can to the highest floor of the house, or in single story homes, raise them off of the ground as much as possible. Do this at the onset of a flood watch.
Step 3    Stay tuned to local TV and radio for constant updates on the weather forecast, flood level, and watches and warnings. Take all advice and warnings seriously.
Step 4     Evacuate to higher ground as soon as a flood warning is issued. Follow your family evacuation plan while avoiding waterways at all costs. Do not drive into standing water and abandon your car immediately if it does stall in water. Search for high, dry ground, and get there as quickly as possible!

During a Flood

  • If a flood is likely in your area, you should: Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
    Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
    Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  • If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. 

After a flood

  • Find out if it is safe to return to your property.
  • Take care as there may be hidden dangers in the flood water like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution.
  • Flood water could have caused structural damage to your property.
  • Ring your buildings and contents insurance company as soon as possible
    In almost all cases the insurance company will send a loss adjuster to look at your property. They will confirm what repairs and replacements are needed and covered by your policy.
  • If you do not have insurance, your local council should be able to provide information on hardship grants or charities that may be able to help you.

Clearing up after a flood

There are a number of things to be aware of when clearing up after a flood.

1. Flood water can contain sewage, chemicals and animal waste. Always wear:
Waterproof outerwear, including gloves;
Wellington boots;
Face mask.

2.  If your electricity supply is not already switched off at the mains, get a qualified person to do this. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.

3.  If you have gas or oil central heating and it has been checked by an engineer, turn it on. Keep the thermostat between 20-22 degrees centigrade for steady drying.

4.  You can get water out of your property using a pump and generator. Position the generator outside in the open air as generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill.

5.  Only pump out water when flood levels outside your property start to be lower than inside. This reduces the risk of structural damage.

6.  Shovel mud away evenly from both sides of a wall. This stops pressure building
up on one side.

7.  You can clean and disinfect your property using ordinary household products.

8.  A garden hose is useful for washing down. Do not use high-pressure hoses as they blast contaminated matter into the air.

9.  If you are drying your property naturally, keep doors and windows open as much as possible. If using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows.

10.  Local councils usually provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items that
your insurance company has agreed you can throw away.

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