Heavy rains, hurricanes, and other tropical storms just to name a few of the calamities that we often encounter. Ninety percent of natural disasters involve flooding, and all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods in the past five years, according to Floodsmart.gov. It is not surprising that floods are the number one costliest disaster in the US. In the past decade, the damages cost the US an average of $2.9 billion per year as reported by the NFIP.
Here are some tips that will help you prepare for a possible flood:
1. Create a plan. Outline a strategy for the entire family. It should include specific details about evacuation protocols, location of important documents, and where to meet in the event of separation. Write down any plans along with contact information for children.
2. First aid kit. Especially if you have children, it is smart to always have a first aid kit handy. Your way to the hospital may be too dangerous during extreme weather conditions so always think of your first aid resources.
3. Food. Prepare food that will last for at least 3 days. Canned goods and noodles may be the best options since it does not spoil easily. Don’t forget the manual can opener.
4. Water. Always have clean water for drinking. You don't want your children to catch any diseases due to unclean drinking water. Prepare for at least 3 days’ worth of consumption because the flood may be longer than a day. Also fill tubs with water for potable use in case you lose power.
5. Sanitation. Dust mask to help filter contaminated. Do not drink from the water supply. This includes water from the faucet, fountain, and other taps. Flood waters can mix in with the clean water supply, contaminating it and making it unsafe to drink. Officials and news outlets will inform you when the water is safe to drink again. Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
6. Secure your home. Keep electrical appliances and valuables off the floor. Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container. Put your valuables in a place where flood can’t reach them, or in a water-resistant portable enclosure like ClimaGuard’s TPE and have one for your car. Have a whistle to signal for help, flashlights and batteries stored in a place you will not forget.
7. Maintain. Keep canned food in a cool, dry place. Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers. Replace expired items as needed. Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change. Have a kit of emergency supplies your car too.
Ultimately, stay aware, prepared, and safe!